Taking place the evening of Wednesday February 26, the popular three hour event was held at the beautiful and vibrant 360 Lab San Francisco coworking facility, an innovation hub and ecosystem driving value for startups, corporate partners and investors and helping grow their businesses.
The event was produced by Max Shapiro, founder of PitchForce and CEO of PeopleConnect, who for years, has hosted monthly events and made it possible for many startups and established companies to raise capital funding and add key talent to their teams. Max along with Heather Scott and Alexander Meyer of 360 Lab San Francisco graciously sponsored seats for our CWFL members to take part in this unique process.
PitchForce featured a dozen talented entrepreneurs from around the globe with varying degrees of business experience and success and whose tech-driven companies presented at the event are in the earlier stages of the fundraising cycle. They also covered a broad spectrum of tech sub-segments with creative products/ideas such as improving hospital and/or other experiences in the healthcare field, agricultural technology, digital marketing, artificial intelligence/software powering high performing governments, computer vision technology, business consulting and funding, cellular phone enhancements and automation, blockchain-based certification technology, entrepreneurial education, eco-conscious straw innovation, and online product videos.
The Pitch Process: 12 entrepreneurs presented their inventive companies and products. In the first hour, they were given a demo table to showcase their companies to those in attendance, including our very own Bay Area CWFL members. Attendees were each given seven $1 million dollar bills, in fake money—similar to Monopoly but on an enormously grander scale—which they could use to “invest” in whichever companies they thought had the best product. At the end of the hour, the five companies with the most money moved to the next round, presenting to the judges and potential investors. For the remaining Companies who were not selected to move forward, they were allotted a 1-minute pitch to the judges, one would return as a wild card. The five selected companies were then given the opportunity to deliver a 4-minute presentation to the panel of angel investors and VCs for a chance at a real investment, followed by 4 minutes of Q&A and 4 minutes of feedback. The panel then voted on a scale of 1-5 for the best presentation. Enlai Chu of Phoneic ended up winning the competition, though it is unknown if any of the investors/judges ended up investing in his company. Phoneic was also a CWFL favorite.
The esteemed panel of angel investors/VCs (panelists) consisted of five highly seasoned and successful professionals— David Emerson, Han Jiang (Mac), Paul Twombly, Chima Osuka and Dan Clay Ellis.
Our CWFL members had a great time at PitchForce and it was a real thrill for them to be directly involved in the spirit of the entrepreneurial process and getting the rare chance to learn more about these amazing people and their products in the earlier stages of their business development—very interesting was also hearing the stories behind the products and how/why these ideas came to fruition—while also having a chance to network closely with each entrepreneur and all those who attended the event, including the investors and VCs themselves.
For more about PitchForce, Max and a list of upcoming events, please visit https://www.pitch-force.com/
Cushman & Wakefield Future Leaders is a collaborative network of rising professionals with less than seven years of experience in the commercial real estate industry. This Employee Resource Group is dedicated to fueling the career advancement of Cushman & Wakefield’s emerging talent by providing educational and professional development opportunities and serving local communities.