And then there were eight.
Elk Grove’s inaugural Pitch Elk Grove startup company competition, which got 50 entrants, has trimmed the field to eight companies vying for $17,500 in prize money, in a March Madness-style bracket.
Elk Grove earlier picked 16 companies to compete, which got narrowed down to eight finalists during a private pitch event on Zoom yesterday. Each company got five minutes to present.
Final pitches will be in person March 31 at The Center at District 56 – The Sheldon Room in Elk Grove, which is open to the public, but advanced registration is required.
The eight companies are:
• EV Life of Folsom, which helps consumers buy electric vehicles.
• EyeRate of Elk Grove, which offers a customer communication platform.
• Fanalyze Inc. of Roseville, which has a sports analysis app for fantasy sports and betting.
• FloraPulse of Davis, which offers precise plant irrigation technology.
• Humaxa of Cameron Park, which offers an AI digital assistant bot.
• Matrubials Inc. of Davis, which is developing antibacterial therapeutics.
• Mediminder Inc. of Davis, which has a smartphone epinephrine monitor.
• Opeeka of Folsom, which is developing behavioral health software.
The Sacramento Kings are also running their Kings Capitalize startup competition for cash prizes, now in its seventh year. This week the Kings also selected its elite eight.
In the round of 16, five companies made it into both contests. Now only three companies, EV Life, EyeRate and Matrubials, are still in the running for both contests.
The judges for the Pitch Elk Grove live event include Kwame Anku, CEO of Black Star Fund; Juan Fernandez, planning commissioner in Elk Grove; Jon Gregory, venture banking manager with Five Star Bank; Deborah Simpson, investor with Sacramento Angels; and Brooke VanSant, an associate with Folsom venture capital firm Moneta Ventures.
The top prize is $10,000, second prize is $5,000 and audience favorite gets $2,500. The city of Elk Grove is providing the prize money to introduce startups to its Startup Elk Grove Incentive Program, which launched in 2018 and offers direct cash subsidies to companies based in the city.
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