This Billionaire Just Gave 10 Startups $100,000 Each on a Whim
When you are a billionaire, you can drop a million bucks on a whim. And today, 10 startup entrepreneurs are sure glad Steve Case did.
At the first ever Google for Entrepreneurs Demo Day, the co-founder of AOL, Steve Case, one of 60 investors listening to the presentations, made an instantaneous, spur-of-the-moment decision to invest in all 10 presenting teams. Case committed to contributing $100,000 in the next funding rounds of each company.
“I was so inspired by the consistent quality of each of the pitches that I made an on-the-spot decision to support each company,” said Case, in a statement.
The Google Demo Day brought entrepreneurs from a network of seven tech hubs in North America outside of Silicon Valley, including Minneapolis, Chicago, Nashville, Denver, Detroit, Durham, N.C., and Waterloo, Canada.
“I’ve long known that great startups can be found everywhere, and not just in Silicon Valley,” said Case. “Each of the seven regions represented by the companies who participated yesterday show huge promise as part of a ‘rise of the rest’ in growing entrepreneurial ecosystems in North America. I hope my investment will be just the start of a growing flow of venture capital dollars to new regions.”
Here’s a quick rundown of the 10 lucky startups.
Automated Insights (Durham, N.C.) – Automated Insights uses Big Data to spot patterns and turn them into written English.
Docalytics (Minneapolis) – Docalytics helps sales and marketing teams track how potential customers interact with content.
GoSpotCheck (Denver) – GoSpotCheck’ Android and iOS apps collect and analyze data from retail stores and turns it into charts and visuals.
Kidizen (Minneapolis) -- Kidizen is a mobile marketplace for used kids clothing and accessories.
InvisionHeart (Nasvhille) – InvisionHeart is a hardware and software system that allows medical professionals to access cardiac data.
iRule (Detroit) – iRule is an iOS and Android mobile-based platform that allows customers to control and automate audio/video, lights and shades.
MarkITx (Chicago) – MarkITx is an online exchange for business tech hardware.
MOJIO (Waterloo, Canada) – MOJIO is an open source platform for writing apps that drivers use in their cars.
WeDeliver (Chicago) – WeDeliver offers same-day delivery of goods with a team of on-demand drivers.
Windsor Circle (Durham, N.C.) – Windsor Circle’s software allows marketers to access the purchase history from multiple commerce platforms for a potential customer.
Catherine Clifford is senior entrepreneurship writer at CNBC. She was formerly a senior writer at Entrepreneur.com, the small business reporter at CNNMoney and an assistant in the New York bureau for CNN. Clifford attended Columbia University where she earned a bachelor's degree. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. You can follow her on Twitter at @CatClifford.