Google for Entrepreneur’s demo day was held this week and the run of Chicago companies pitching to California audiences began on Tuesday, when 1871 alumni MarkITx and WeDeliver presented their business plans to Google and a panel of tech-funding luminaries as part of a Google push to interact more with startups through business and developer groups.
As part of Google for Entrepreneur's demo day, 10 companies from Google's tech hub network were invited to present their companies to venture capital firms at the company's Mountain View, Calif., headquarters. At the culmination, former AOL CEO Steve Case, acting as a demo day judge, awarded both MarkITX and WeDeliver with $100,000.
MarkITx is a technology company that is transforming the way the world trades IT hardware, and currently serves more than 1,500 customers and is doing business on five continents. CEO Frank Muscarello said about the demo day experience, “We loved spending time with such innovative entrepreneurs who have the same fire in their bellies as we do. The opportunity to present at Google Demo Day really helped us hone what was already a tight pitch into a story that hopefully inspires more businesses to realize they are sitting on a pile of money in the form of used IT hardware. It's a fun story to tell when the benefit is so obvious and method for recouping revenue so simple. “
WeDeliver is the first crowd-sourced hyperlocal delivery platform that helps neighborhood businesses grow by encouraging residents to shop local. Winning at Google for Entrepreneur’s demo day speaks to the larger success of Chicago’s tech community. CEO Jimmy Odom said, “It was an honor to represent our Chicagoland community (1871 - Chicago) amongst some of the world's greatest minds. Having the ability to bring our companies mission, vision, purpose, and culture out to the epicenter of technology is electrifying. After having seen a sneak peek into what Midwest entrepreneurs bring to the table my hope is that the top funds in the Valley begin to follow Steve's actions and look outside of their 40 mile radius for more entrepreneurs to invest in.”
These investments benefit the Chicago tech community as a whole, which increasingly has said it is seeking to appeal to outside investors to increase venture capital exposure for Chicago companies.
Check out their pitch videos below: