San Diego Start-Ups vie for cash prize in Quick Pitch competition

Entrepreneurs get 2 minutes to wow the judges
Posted at 8:21 AM, Oct 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-24 11:21:35-04


SAN DIEGO (KGTV): Ten budding businesses will have a chance for a big boost when they compete for up to $75,000 in cash during Thursday night's Quick Pitch Competition.

The event, similar to the TV show "Shark Tank," gives each business-owner two minutes to wow the judges.

The ten companies range from tech start-ups to medical research companies (For more information on the 10 finalists, clickhere). They were chosen from around 280 that applied.

"It's more art than science," says Mike Krenn, the CEO of San Diego Venture Group. They're one of the sponsors of the event. "There were so many companies. We fought long and hard over who were the final 10. But they've all got some momentum going to market, all chasing big opportunities."

One company, DoWhop, is an online marketplace to buy and sell experiences around San Diego. It's founder, Rae Lietzau, says winning this competition would mean expanding her workforce and bandwidth on the site.

"At this stage, every dollar counts," says Lietzau. "Right now it means allowing more people to get paid to do what they love to do."

In addition to SD Venture Group, the event is put on by Tech Coast Angels and the John G. Howard Foundation. All three groups work to improve business in the region. Krenn says this year's competition shows how San Diego has become a hub for start-ups.

"We're really on the upswing," says Krenn. "It's exciting to see a lot of people imported from silicon valley. Everything's trending in the right direction."

Krenn also noted that the winning team from 2 years ago went on to raise around $11 million in capital after the competition.

Even companies that don't win cash at Quick Pitch usually get a boost from the exposure. The audience is full of venture capitalists and other potential investors.

"It gives them the ability to get on their radar earlier so when they come back for funding, people are already familiar with them as well as their milestones," says Victoria Laker, the Pitch Chair for Tech Coast Angels.

The event starts at 5 pm at Qualcomm Hall. It's sold out for the first time.