2nd Annual Google for Entrepreneurs Demo Day
March 31st through April 2nd, 2015
In April 2015, we hosted our 2nd Annual Google for Entrepreneurs Demo Day at the Google Partnerplex in Mountain View. The event featured 12 startups from around the US and Canada, representing the incredible innovation happening beyond Silicon Valley. The purpose of our Demo Day is to showcase these companies to Silicon Valley investors and drive awareness of (and investment in!) these high-growth companies. 12 startups each gave 5 minute pitches to a packed house of investors and community leaders. Check out the Youtube video of the event, or skip here to watch the exciting last 5 minutes announcing the winners!
THE JUDGES' FAVORITE
Our judges' panel included Ann Winblad (of Hummer Winblad), Steve Case (Founder of AOL and Founder/Partner at Revolution), and Blake Byers (Google Ventures). At the conclusion of the pitches, the judges deliberate until they agree on a "Judges' Favorite." After much discussion, the big winner was Mati Energy, founded by Tatiana Birgisson of Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. Tatiana's all-natural canned tea outsells Red Bull 3-to-1 when on the shelf together, and her Demo Day win (and the investment secured) will help her scale Mati nationally.
THE GAME CHANGER
The event was live streamed to watch parties around the world, and we held our first ever online voting for a peoples' choice style "Game Changer" Award. The people spoke, crowning LevelEleven of Detroit, Michigan.
Steve Case announced a surprise investment in 4 of the 12 companies. Steve is passionate about highlighting an array of founders from many location and many backgrounds. In line with that passion, Steve Case announced he'd personally invest $100,000 in each of the four companies led by female CEOs. (Steve Case has also invested in 3 of the 12 companies prior to Demo Day- bringing the total count to seven Demo Day startups with Case's investment!) Last year's startups reported that Steve's investment was tremendously helpful in raising the rest of their rounds.