Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Startup Teams Take Ideas to the Hoop at Google for Entrepreneurs Demo Day, Silicon Valley, 4/2

Automated Insights and Windsor Circle Represent the Triangle in Google Ventures Hosted Event to be Simulcast at American Underground Hubs

(Raleigh-Durham) - March 4 - Slam dunks -- they’re not just for NCAA teams any more. While much of North Carolina gears up for March Madness, eyes are also on a different kind of craze: Durham entrepreneurs bringing their best game to the invitation-only
Google for Entrepreneurs Demo Day in Mountain View, CA, Wednesday, April 2, 1-3pm ET.

In tournament-style play, more than 50 teams from across the Triangle
competed for the chance to take their message and business plan to Silicon Valley in the hope of scoring investors and other contacts.

The opportunity stems from the Underground’s status as a Google for Entrepreneur Tech Hub, the only such designation in North Carolina
and one of just seven in the nation. Only teams associated with a Google for Entrepreneur Tech Hub were eligible.

In the end,
Windsor Circle and Automated Insights rose to the top and earned an all expense paid trip to pitch to investors next month alongside teams from six other Google for Entrepreneur Tech Hubs around the country. Having two teams selected from the region is a special honor for the Triangle.

In a twist that invites the Cameron Crazies of the local startup scene
to get involved, the American Underground will host viewing parties. Dates, times and locations are as follows:



Google for Entrepreneurs will publicly announce an overall winner and award as of yet unspecified prizes (stay tuned to the Google for Entrepreneurs Google+ page for updates). But the real prize is the chance to pitch and meet with more than 100 investors from the West Coast and cities across America.  No matter who is deemed the winner, each startup may receive some kind of support from the gathered investors based on appeal and interest.

"A Serious, Silicon Valley Audience” 
“While Google for Entrepreneurs’ panel of judges will pick a single winner, the team there has made it clear they hope every participating startup will attract some type of funding interest from the investors in the audience. And this will be a serious-minded, seriously-bankrolled Silicon Valley audience,” says Adam Klein, chief strategist, American Underground, a Google for Entrepreneurs Tech Hub.  

“We worked with partners at CED, Duke University, Groundwork Labs, NC

IDEA, RTP and The Startup Factory to identify the top companies in the area that could not only hold their own at this event but earn substantial investments. We like our chances.” 
Klein will travel west with a group of Triangle investors as well as startup leaders. He plans to visit investment groups in Silicon Valley in addition to other tech hubs.

Automated Insights has built an artificial intelligence platform that transforms vast amounts of raw data into compelling narrative content and visualizations. Named the Best Place to Work in the Triangle in 2013, the fast-growing company will soon move to the American Tobacco Campus in office space overlooking the newly renovated Durham Bulls Athletic Park. “It's an honor to be selected," says Robbie Allen, CEO, Automated Insights. "Not only to pitch top-tier VCs, but also talk to various Google product teams about our award-winning platform is an exciting opportunity." Automated Insights is an NC IDEA grant winner and is backed by IDEA Fund Partners.  

Windsor Circle is aggregating the world's transactional data to make it "push-button simple" for marketers to drive more value from their existing customers.  Windsor Circle's Retention Automation Platform is used by leading global retail brands such as Billabong, Bonobos, CafePress, NPR and Guideposts Magazines; by partners such as Salesforce.com, Silverpop and MailChimp; and by ecommerce powerhouses such as Magento, Demandware and Shopify. Windsor Circle is also backed by IDEA Fund Partners.  "It's quite an honor that our singular focus on helping marketers leverage data to drive more value from their existing customers has gained Google's attention," says Matt Williamson, CEO. "We're excited about this opportunity to share our vision with some of the world's most dynamic venture firms, learn from Google's visionary approach to creating amazing products, and help retailers the world over use data-driven marketing to delight their customers." 

About the American Underground
Beginning in the basement of what was once an abandoned tobacco factory, the American Underground is now a thriving startup campus featuring 130 companies in three locations that unite North Carolina’s renowned Research Triangle region: The American Underground@American Tobacco, The American Underground@Main and The American Underground@Raleigh. One of just seven Google for Entrepreneurs Tech Hubs, the American Underground features a full array of work space; robust corporate, nonprofit and university partners; and dynamic programming.

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