At yesterday's inaugural Google for Entrepreneurs Demo Day, AOL cofounder and Revolution Chairman and CEO Steve Case surprised the crowd – not to mention the 10 participating startups – when he announced that he would be investing $100,000 into each of the startups that presented at the event.
Wow. @SteveCase has just offered to personally invest $100K into ALL 10 startups that have just pitched at today's #DemoDay. Amazing.
— Google4Entrepreneurs (@GoogleForEntrep) April 2, 2014
As part of the event, 10 companies from seven tech hubs (including Chicago's 1871 and Durham's American Underground) were invited to pitch their startups to more than 100 investors and venture capital firms at Google's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. Initially, Case attended the event solely to serve on a panel of investor judges, but he left having pledged $100,000 in equity investment into each startup.
The 10 startups include:
- Automated Insights provides a platform that analyzes and produces high-quality insight from raw data, translating Big Data into plain English (by way of narratives, visualizations, and interactive applications).
- Docalytics provides a document management and publishing platform for PDF-based marketing documents, and allows sales and marketing people to track how prospective customers interact with those documents (effectively helping businesses capture more leads and sales).
- GoSpotCheck provides Web and mobile apps that serve as simple tools for a company's field team to collect, structure, and analyze real-time retail intelligence.
- InvisionHeart is a device that uses smartphones and tablets to transmit electrocardiogram (EKG) information to physicians and cardiologists, giving them the ability to make decisions on a patient's health much more quickly.
- iRule utilizes the power of the cloud to create a fully-integrated remote control system that allows users to take control of all their devices from a phone or tablet.
- Kidizen is a peer-to-peer online marketplace, on your smartphone, to buy and sell pre-used, high-quality kids' goods (clothing, toys, etc.).
- MarkITx is an online exchange for used computer hardware. What makes it unique is that it maintains anonymity between parties throughout the entire exchange process and keeps funds in escrow until the hardware has passed inspection and certification from a qualified OEM refurbisher.
- moj.io has created a gadget that plugs into a car's onboard diagnostics (OBD) port, and is aimed at creating a more connected experience during your car ride by allowing for OBD-based applications, such as being able to send your current location to your friends.
- WeDeliver offers a same-day delivery service for merchants that crowdsources the delivery work to local residents who have the time and desire to do so.
- Windsor Circle helps e-commerce companies get consumer data from their websites to use for directly marketing to those customers.
Ultimately, Windsor Circle – from Durham-based American Underground – ended up taking the top prize at the Google for Entrepreneurs Demo Day. You can watch the Demo Day in its entirety, below: