Civic News

SwitchPitch organizes reverse-pitching event for Commerce Dept.

Eighty startups — including D.C.'s own Create, Eyespend and GoPyt — are hearing from big-name companies with fundable projects in tow.

A pitching event at iStrategy Labs.

(Photo by Ashley Nguyen)

Get this: “The Bachelor” meets “Shark Tank” — at the U.S. Department of Commerce.
On Monday, Commerce will convene 80 startups from across the country for a pitching extravaganza organized by Georgetown-based SwitchPitch.
But the ones pitching will be big-name companies — including Comcast, Microsoft and Unilever — with entrepreneurial projects of their own.
Participating D.C. startups will include CreateEyespend, GoPytPreneurhub and Visidraft.
This Open for Innovation event will complement the White House’s first Demo Day on Tuesday, focused on “inclusive entrepreneurship,” U.S. CTO Megan Smith announced in a public email she co-wrote earlier this year.
In order to create a “more tangible value to the startups that are coming in town,” the White House reached out several months ago to SwitchPitch, founder Michael Goldstein told DC.
In recent years, “startups have been disruptive in ways that companies hadn’t seen before,” said Goldstein. “A lot more can get accomplished with a lot fewer resources.”
In order to put their agility at the service of large companies with fundable projects in mind, he created SwitchPitch, a platform that helps firms find the Mr. Right of startups.
Founded in 2012, SwitchPitch has organized eight other reverse-pitching events, where companies come prepared to woo startups with their ideas.
On Monday, they will have five minutes to present their projects, with budgets ranging from about $20,000 to approximately $300,000, Goldstein said.
Then, they will go one-on-one with hand-picked startups during “speed meetings.”
Finally, in case they didn’t feel the magic, the companies will post their proposal on SwitchPitch’s platform, where many more startups can apply.


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