The Five Finalists Pitch at Celebrate 2015 spent 2015 scouring the globe in search of the best startup. We held competitions in dozens of cities and selected finalists from each of these cities to compete at Celebrate 2015 in Las Vegas.

The Celebrate conference capped off with the top five finalists competing for the grand prize of Startup of the Year. Each finalist was allowed five minutes to pitch followed by a few minutes of Q&A with the judges.

Obviously all five finalists have solid products and great potential for success. They wouldn’t have made it this far if they didn’t. They also wouldn’t have made it this far without a standout pitch. If you don’t have time to watch the entire video, I will share with you some of the standout messages from each pitch that also give you some insight as to what their startup is about. However, if you do have time, I encourage you to watch the video. There’s no better way to learn how to deliver a stellar pitch presentation than to watch other (winning) founders do it.

1. Blendoor

Founder: Stephanie Lampkin

Product: Mobile app that matches tech jobs with minority candidates

“A white, male, Christian sounding name accounts for eight years of experience on a resume. So why does diversity matter? Companies have been doing pretty well without it up until now. Well for one, there’s a significant US labor shortage because of retiring baby boomers. So recruiters have to find a creative way to find new talent. Secondly, studies have shown that gender diversity in leadership alone leads to 53% higher return on sales and a 60% higher return on invested capital. So companies get it. They understand that this contributes to innovation.”

2. HedgeChatter

Founder: James Ross

Product: Software service that brings forward the social chatter online for investors to use as an indicator for stock options

“What we’re doing is every day we’re processing about 3.6 million financial chat messages. We’re listening to people when they say buy and sell, but more importantly, we’re correlating how often they’re right or wrong. So as people are saying buy or sell, are they actually getting it right or are they actually getting it wrong? And we’re generating alerts. So we’re generating buy alerts and we’re generating sell alerts.”

3. LiveAnswer

Founders: Adam Boalt & Matt Zemon

Product: Multi-tenant, cloud-based answering service software platform that quickly routs to qualified agents.

“When we started our journey we built software that connected businesses to phone support. And over the two years that we’ve been doing this, our customers told us two things: They asked us first, ‘we love your software, can we use it without your phone support, can we use it with our own agents?’ Yeah, we can make that happen. And then they said ‘you’ve done great with voice, can you give us other channels?’ Uber’s one of our clients and they came to us and said ‘we need a use of text. We want you to be able to send a text message to a driver, that they can send back a picture, you can get that in your system and push it through to ours.’ And we built that for them.”

4. Sunport

Founders: Nicholas Williams & Paul Droege

Product: Outlet adapter that lets you plug in and demand solar energy.

“Sunport is a little plug-in adapter that helps you demand solar energy. It works using a credit system that’s existed since the 90s, that’s already in use by major corporations, including Google, Whole Foods, Apple. The way it works is you plug it into any US outlet, and you can plug any electronic into it. Inside the box is a utility grid power meter. It measures how much energy you’re using, and matches it with solar energy from a solar farm somewhere else in the country.”

5. TurboAppeal

Founders: John Guidos & Badal Shah

Product: Service that utilizes Big Data and analytics to that help people with property tax appeals

“We have a big problem here today, and it’s a national problem. And the problem is that home owners are paying too much on their property taxes. In fact 70% of homeowners today are overassessed. Basically what that means is that their property tax bill is showing that they’re paying more on their property tax bill than what they should. TurboAppeal is the LegalZoom for property taxes.”

You can watch the entire video here.



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Written by:
Kristin is an aspiring entrepreneur who is enthusiastically navigating her way through the DC startup space. She has an unending passion for learning and is never satisfied with the status quo. During the day she is an ops, biz dev, and marketing maven for Fission Strategy
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