“It’’s a great day in Phoenix. We came with high expectations and Phoenix exceeded our expectations.” Steve Case, Co-Founder of AOL, is on a mission across the country to encourage and develop startup talent. His Rise of the Rest tour culminated in Phoenix with the winner being awarded 100 thousand dollars.
This is a pitch competition where each finalist makes their case to a panel of judges, including Case.
Eight Phoenix based startups made the cut: CrowdMics, MSDx, ReplyBuy, Ava School Solutions, Hopscratch, CBL Worldwide, NeoLight, Smart Brain Aging
The winner, NeoLight, won the big monetary prize, but all of the companies got a huge boost.
At the Duce in Phoenix where the competition was held, a packed house, which included Congressman Ruben Gallego and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, cheered on the contestants.
“By having strength not just in certain cities, but across the United States, that makes us a better country,” Stanton says.
The winner was NeoLight, a medical device startup founded by four ASU graduates. The technology will help infants around the world get lower cost care. The CEO, Vivek Kopparthi, says this is only the beginning. And, he says, this kind of recognition is a huge boost, “It was an awesome and exciting experience. We are gonna knock it out of the park.”