And the pitch contest winner is…
Five finalists pitched to a packed room at Hill Country Barbecue Market at the Make It in Brooklyn + BE.IN pitch contest on Thursday. Competition was fierce and the finalists – all with an affiliation to one of Downtown Brooklyn’s higher ed institutions – excelled at showcasing their innovative startups.
During the contest, each company pitched for two minutes, followed by four minutes of questions from the judges – John Biggs of TechCrunch, Nisha Dua of BBG Ventures and Syed Rizvi of Chase – who then deliberated for ten minutes before deciding to award prizes to two winners. The event was moderated by Assistant Professor and tech entrepreneur Robert Wu of the St Francis Center for Entrepreneurship.
Riley is a real estate text-messaging startup that takes user input and big data to create personalized user listings and assigns an agent to each New York City zip code.
In Room Salon is a hospitality and tech product that integrates with hotel management systems to allow guests to book beauty services via mobile app and online bookings.
Brooklyn’s entrepreneurial talent was on full display, with the three remaining finalists, East Side Energy Generators, Fleks3D and Ephemeral, showing out-of-the-box thinking in their work as well: East Side Energy Generators aims to introduce hydropower to New York City by utilizing turbines inside water pipes in residential buildings; Ephemeral founders are creating a tattoo ink and removal system; and Fleks3D have created a plate for 3D printers that allows printed objects to pop off, instead of needing to be scraped off, as is currently the case.
Riley’s first place finish resulted in one month of Unlimited Commons Membership from WeWork, a Zipcar for Business membership with free driving credit, and $5,000 cash from JPMorgan Chase. John Biggs contributed an additional prize of a table at the next TechCrunch Disrupt conference and added two tickets to the conference to In Room Salon’s 2nd place prize of a one-month residency at the NYU Dumbo Incubator.
As Downtown Brooklyn strengthens its hold as a major center for innovation and entrepreneurship, plans to continue to support the startup community include three more pitch contests in the run up the 2016 Make It in Brooklyn summit. Stay tuned for more pitch contest info at @makeitinbk / #makeitinbk and makeitinbk.com.