Launch Academy and GrowLab have yet again set the stage in Seattle with Cascadia 2012.Entrepreneurs, investors, and tech experts from across Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, and the Okanagan all came together in a collaborative environment to discuss big ideas, formulate solutions, and disrupt marketplaces. 12 entrepreneurs had a 60 second opportunity to pitch their startup to a packed crowd of tech and business experts. Six of the crowd favorites then moved onto the second round of the competition, whereby they were given the chance to further explain their ideas in a 2 minute time span to a panel of high profile judges: Rebecca Lovell, Daniel Gallagher, Daniel Rossi, Kelly Clay and Bill Bryant. The top three: ExoLabs Inc. (1st place), Nanu Interactive Inc. (2nd place), and AppThwack (3rd place) blew the crowed away, and were awarded cash prizes sponsored by LX Ventures.
The energy of the room during Cascadia was magnetic! Watching the event from the sidelines, one could see all the bridges being formed, the barriers being broken. New startups gained insight from Venture Capitalist's and investors, and tech experts were being enlightened by learning about the newest innovations ready to hit marketplaces in the near future. The Cascadia Summit is exactly what tech entrepreneurship needs. There is no limit to the number of ideas and innovations that can be created. However, the journey from idea to fruition is the most challenging. Cascadia makes it easier for entrepreneurs at any stage of their business to interact with, collaborate with, and seek insight from a wide variety of sources unrestricted to the city they live in. Investors and Venture Capitalist's also are able to gain a first mover advantage in the VC space, as they are being exposed to a variety of brand new, unreleased innovations, all in the comfort of one room. Moreover, having representation from Acccelerate Okanagan, VIATeC, NorthWest Entrepreneur Network, and Portland Seed Fund helps increase the bonds between all accelerator programs generating a highly cooperative environment for tech entrepreneurship to evolve to even greater heights. It is through these conversations, and potential collaborations at the Cascadia Summit that tech entrepreneurship will be able to grow and thrive, fostering the progression of Western North America to become the hub of tech entrepreneurship in the future.
Cascadia 2012 would not be able to operate without the generous support and commitment from our sponsors in the community. A big thank you to all of our sponsors who contributed to the success of Cascadia 2012: LX Ventures, LaBarge Weinstein, Softlayer, BC Innovation and the Canadian Consulate.
The Cascadia Summit has a mission to become the pipeline of tech entrepreneurship between the various accelerators in Western Canada and Western United States. It is through this pipeline that each community will be able support one other's initiatives, create awareness about the newest trends in technology and entrepreneurship, leverage one another's resources, and to gain a greater network of mentors, advisers, and supporters. Join us for the next Cascadia Summit. You won't want to miss it!
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