This past Wednesday, WeWork held its Fenway Fast Pitch Competition, a competition designed to determine which city is truly better: New York City or Boston? Okay, well, that wasn’t really the whole point of it, but the startup pitch competition did feature three startups from NYC and three teams from Boston, the winner of which would forever stand as a symbol for nonpareil brilliance, talent, and innovation – an everlasting figurehead representing precisely the degree to which one city is decidedly better than the other…(again, not the point of the competition – or maybe it was?). In the end, Boston’s VerbalCare took home the prize and settled once and for all that Boston is better than NYC (or not…I don’t know…maybe).
— WeWork (@WeWork) August 6, 2014
VerbalCare provides a Cloud-based communications platform that enables improved patient-centered care by giving nonverbal hospital patients simple tools to effectively convey their needs. As the winner of the pitch competition, the company took home a $15,000 grand prize. In addition to the grand prize, WeWork cofounder Adam Neumann surprised attendees when he awarded $5,000 to Generation Citizen, which aims to cultivate a new generation of civic-minded young activists and leaders through their civic education programs.
The competition featured members startups from WeWork’s various NYC and Boston branches. The six teams that competed for the prize represented the top three teams from the NYC and Boston portions of the competition. ““As a community of creators, WeWork is home to some of the most inspiring and creative people and businesses,” said WeWork’s Boston Lead, Hunter Perry. “This event is just one of the great ways we get to showcase the amazing work happening inside our communities.” After three minutes of pitching and three minutes of Q&A for each team, the overall winner was determined by the audience. WeWork partnered with Beacon Capital for the competition, which allowed the pitching companies to get some exposure to some venture capitalists.
The other four companies that competed include:
- Datacoup – personal data marketplace that enables users to aggregate, package and sell their data (WeWork Soho West, NYC)
- Renthackr – connects people with the best apartments in New York City before they hit the market by letting users follow particular buildings (WeWork Fulton Center, NYC)
- JackPocket – app for Android and iOS that lets people play the lottery on the go (WeWork Soho West, NYC)
- SpotLight Parking – application that allows people to summon a valet parking attendant in popular, high-volume areas in Boston (WeWork South Station, Boston)
Last September, I interviewed VerbalCare cofounder and CEO Nick Dougherty about their platform, after having pitched at August Mixer & Startup Showcase in Boston. Read it here.