Startupalooza arrived in L.A. with quite a following. People traveled miles to participate. The winner came from the Philippines and some even followed us up the next day to Menlo Park for our Silicon Valley debut.
If it felt a little like a rock tour, it was kind of deserved. A little New York attitude and access to our capital is much appreciated and Startups relished the chance to win an appearance at the National Business Investor Forum in NY worth $3500.
The point of our tour is that entrepreneurship may now be everywhere but not so with financing. Startups need all kinds of help and while there ideas that certain areas favor there may not be funding. More commonly, the ideas are better appreciated elsewhere. New York doesn’t love deep tech as much as Silicon Valley or Boston and they don’t care that much for media or ecommerce platforms either. No one likes government plays as much as DC does, and so on…..
The winner in L.A. was a LoyalCoin, a cryptocurrency supporting a loyalty marketing program. The founders and company are from the Philippines where it has gained traction, already raising $2 million.
It was only in L.A. that they could launch big time.
In Silicon Valley the winner was Orion Span, a company that could only have been taken seriously in Silicon Valley because it was raising $14 million to launch – Space Hotels. Yet it turned out to be a very credible pitch by a company laden with former NASA engineers. Turns out everyone is talking about rockets for space tourists but not about a comfortable place to stay once they get there! Enter Orion Span.
These guest rooms don’t come cheap – about a half million a day – but that didn’t stop our investors from wanting to help find just the right billionaires to fund this….
As for DC, the winner was TruGenomix which has a genomic blood test that that predict PTSD in soldiers. Since the execs have strong ties to the military, getting some type of sale is a shoo-in. But, as skeptical New Yorkers we still have to ask, does the military really want to know? After all it would limit their pool of potential soldiers.
What a cliffhanger!
Yet, it all illustrates what makes Startupalooza so interesting as we go about finding the terroire in startups. What make certain startups come from certain regions and how does that map to the inefficiencies in funding? Our biggest deals like Nomi Beauty and Alyce were form investors outside of their home towns.
To paraphrase an old saying, profits (OK, prophets) are not always honored in their home towns.
As a national funding network, we are out to solve that problem!
Thanks to all our partners, Brian MacMahon and ExpertDojo in L.A., Maryanne Morrow and Spaces Menlo Park and The Yard in DC for making this all possible!
Pitching in L.A. Crowds in Silicon Valley
Pitching in Silicon Valley
Judging in Silicon Valley Judging in DC
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Posted on April 1, 2019