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Plug and Play San Diego Holds Fourth Pitch Event

20 startups will pitch to expert panel of regional leaders at new location in Downtown San Diego
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer will attend to help announce winners, no limit.

San Diego CA— Plug and Play San Diego’s fourth pitch event is shaping up to be one of the largest startup pitches and award events in San Diego hosting over 200 guests with 20 startups expected to pitch to a panel of 15 judges who will award $25,000 PER STARTUP! As always, there is no limit to the number of winners.

There has already been $350,000 awarded to local startups by Plug and Play San Diego (http://sandiego.plugandplaytechcenter.com) in the past year through pitch competitions, and over $2 million raised by those startups which participated in the Startup Camp program in Silicon Valley for three months and returned to San Diego to continue to grow.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer will attend the event to help announce the winners of the pitch competition. Opening remarks will be delivered by Saeed Amidi, founder of Plug and Play Technology Center, and local serial entrepreneur Mitch Thrower, who will describe the “San Diego advantage” having launched over 40 startups here, including Active Network and Events.com. High-profile judges include Greg Lucier of Life Technologies, Nathan Fletcher of Qualcomm and Howard Leonhardt of CalXStars.

As Mayor Faulconer explains, “It’s certainly exciting to have San Diego selected as the first satellite city in the U.S. for Plug and Play. From green technology to clean technology and cyber technology, innovation and opportunities abound in San Diego and the world is taking notice. We are proud of our City’s visionary entrepreneurs and welcome Plug and Play’s global network, investors and partners to our leading city of innovation.”

Alex Roudi, Founder of Plug and Play San Diego adds, “We had a terrific first year and expect this next group of startups to continue with the success and growth as the rest of our portfolio companies. This is only the beginning, as we are looking to 2015 and beyond with plans for a physical space to host startups and acceleration activities. There is truly a San Diego advantage for companies to grow here.”

The fourth pitch event will be held in a new space in downtown San Diego, at the 707 Broadway building which is being transformed into an exciting hub of technology, creative enterprise and entrepreneurship under the visionary development of owner Emmes Asset Management. The Energy Star-certified 18-story high-rise office tower will be showcasing its own innovative offerings for downtown San Diego including 9,000 square foot floors with 360-degree panoramic views (like the one where the event will be hosted), a fitness facility, onsite Café and installation of 30 Electric Vehicle charging stations, the largest concentration in the county.

Free parking will be provided for the event in the building’s 795-stall parking lot in partnership with Ace Parking. Additional event sponsors include Sheppard Mullin, Innovative Commercial Environments (ICE), SOS Entertainment and Co-Merge. An after-party will be hosted on the 8th floor following the pitch event.

A new feature at this year’s pitch event are the “Corporate Lounge” and “OpenGov Lounge” areas during the networking portions of the event to allow local startups to meet corporate and government leaders for potential contracting opportunities. For many San Diego startups, a new client is as valuable as venture capital. And for public agencies or private corporations, the innovation and value that a startup can provide is also of great value.  Local groups like San Diego EDC and Open San Diego have been assisting in event outreach, along with partners like FabLab, San Diego CONNECT, Ansir Innovation Center, etc. In addition to the 20 tech startups pitching, there will be at least 18 other device-focused startups conducting demos during the first hour of the event.

Robert Reyes, Plug and Play San Diego Partner and Founder of StartupCircle explains, “The San Diego startup community continues to grow and a benefit is that complex business problems are being tackled by these local entrepreneurs. The quality of applications from the startups getting ready to pitch and the traction from startups that have completed our program is outstanding.”

The panel of judges for the Dec. 9 pitch event includes:

  • Mike Alfred, Co-Founder and CEO of Brightscope
  • Saeed Amidi, Founder and CEO of Plug and Play Tech Center
  • Jon Belmonte, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Cursive Labs
  • Kim Davis, Business Development at Cashie and professor at UCSD and SDSU
  • Nathan Fletcher, Senior Director of Global Strategic Initiatives of Qualcomm
  • Allison Long Pettine, President of Crescent Ridge Partners
  • Howard Leonhardt, Founder of Leonhardt Ventures, CalXStars and California Stock Xchange
  • Greg Lucier, Founder and former Chairman and CEO of Life Technologies
  • Alireza Masrour, VP of Technology Investment at Plug and Play Tech Center
  • Greg McKee, CEO of Connect
  • Rory Moore, CEO of CommNexus and EvoNexus, Chairman & CEO at Perminova
  • Lada Rasochova, Managing Director of the Rady Venture Fund
  • Robert Reyes, Founder of StartupCircle and partner with Plug and Play San Diego
  • Alex Roudi, Chairman of Interwest Capital and founder of Plug and Play San Diego
  • Bernie Schroeder, Director of the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center at San Diego State University
  • Mitch Thrower, Founder and Chairman of Events.com
  • David Titus, Senior Vice President at Cooley, LLP
  • Michael Umansky, Partner at Sheppard Mullin, LLP
  • Ruprecht Von Buttlar, Vice President of Business Creation and Development for Connect

Several founders from the 14 startups that were selected at the three prior pitch events will also be present at the Dec. 9 pitch event to help cheer on the startups that are vying for a slot at Startup Camp and to be part of the Plug and Play portfolio.

Startups selected at the third pitch event, May 2014:

  1. Ahorro Libre – Tijuana-based internet platform for community financing.
  2. Beaming – Temecula-based GPS mobile phone app to leave and discover digital photos anywhere.
  3. Locbit – Internet of Things (IoT) platform to “connect everyone to everything, everywhere”
  4. Statim Health – Denver-based free digital platform that enables healthcare pricing transparency.
    *Statim Health was the winner of the Plug and Play EXPO in Sunnyvale, Sept. 2014.

Startups selected at second pitch event, Dec. 2013:

  1. Intentiva – Neuroscience guided development of algorithms to augment living spaces.
  2. Raynforest – Sports influencer marketplace.
  3. Reel Qualified – Video-powered platform that generates better qualified leads.
  4. Stretchr – Intelligent cloud, NoSQL RESTful datastore for more reusable code and quicker releases.

Startups selected at first pitch event, May 2013:

  1. RockMyRun – music via website and app to help runners meet their goals.
  2. Santech Health – mobile messaging applications improve chronic care management / compliance.
  3. Tip Network – cloud-based support to help restaurants track, manage and distribute tips digitally.
  4. Vioozer – search engine powered app that provides accurate, updated location-based information.
  5. eFinancial Communications – platform integrates social media for targeted customer interaction.
  6. Pcsso – API based on image search to find products by appearance versus. Metadata.

ABOUT PLUG AND PLAYPlug and Play Tech Center is an accelerator specializing in growing technology startups.  Headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, Plug and Play’s global network includes over 300 tech startups, 180 investors and a community of leading Universities and Corporate partners with satellite programs in Russia, Canada, Spain, Poland, Jordan and Singapore.  Since its founding in 2006, Plug and Play startups have raised over $2.6 Billion in funding.  www.plugandplaytechcenter.com

In 2013, San Diego became the first U.S. city to extend the Plug and Play program. http://sandiego.plugandplaytechcenter.com

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