Sunday, February 26, 2012

And the Winner 2012 is... Timbuktu!

The Latins (and Italians...) called it "par condicio". After 2 years at Stanford, the show-case of the Mind the Bridge startup finalists for 2012 moved to UC Berkeley, kindly hosted by the European Business Association of Haas Business School.
Different side of the bay,
same full house, same temperature (after 4 years, the summer-like conditions for our IID are almost guaranteed).
160 people attended to see what this new wave of Italian innovation has to offer.

They were not disappointed.
After an engaging keynote by Peter Arvai, the founder of the super cool Prezi (he's also a super cool dude), the 11 finalists of the MTB and Intesa Sanpaolo initiatives took the stage.

By design, we want to present a diverse showcase of different technologies, ranging from new media to enterprise software to green tech and bio-med.

Among a wide group of investors, this year's Investor Committee was composed of:
Their role, as usual, was to grill the startups on the critical business aspects after the 5-min presentations (alas, no-one in Prezi yet!).
And to pick the most promising ones.

Solid presentations across the board.
Here's what they finally came up with:

An award-winning Ipad magazine for kids and parents. Engaging the content (they partner with the relevant Reggio Children center), engaging the 2 female c0-founders (creative, energetic and competent)

a revolutionary bandaid proprietary technology, integrating chitin nanofiber. Enhanced healing and minimize scarring (I need it now!) Kick-ass team (HQ in Seattle).

A mind blowing technology (seriously!) to provide simple commands with your thought (a helmet reads your EEG signals). Serious kick-ass stuff.
In gaming or military could be a killing.
Pasquale (CEO), instead, has decided to use it to provide some comfort to folks with multiple sclerosis, ALS, etc. Why? Because that's what drives him!
Chappeau (he didn't get the first place because "marketing matters a lot", investors said...)

To all our startups: a pretty darn good job.
Now it's time to go out and prosper!

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