The City of Glendale invites you to participate in the Glendale Tech Week Pitchfest 2019! Companies selected to compete in Pitchfest will have the opportunity to compete for a prize package in front of a live audience, angel investors and VC judges. 

Coming September 2019

Let us know if you’re interested in applying to join Pitchfest.
Join our interest list and you will be notified when the application window opens.


MEET LAST YEAR’S WINNERS

 
 
Molly Beck - Messy.fm

Molly Beck - Messy.fm

 

Calmly taking the microphone and turning to face the judges and audience members at Pitchfest 2018, Molly Beck commanded the attention of the room with her kickoff line, “Here’s the situation—right now, everybody in this room has a secret desire to start a podcast.” Going on to deliver a crystal clear pitch that evidenced meticulous market research as well as an uncanny understanding of the changing tide of modern content creation, Molly was chosen as one of the dual winners of Pitchfest, walking away with $30,000 worth of in-kind services.  

Her product? Messy.fm, an all-in-one DIY platform for podcasters that integrates all the requisite podcast technology—music, analytics, editing, publishing— into a single, easy-to-use website. Messy allows its users to avoid having to master complicated recording or editing software, and instead just focus on creating content.

The seeds for Messy were planted ten years ago, at the very start of Molly’s career in marketing and media. Back in 2008, launching her blog Smart, Pretty & Awkward jump-started a career in marketing and media, with roles leading brand marketing at Venmo, publishing a book for McGraw-Hill (Reach Out, 2017), and launching Forbes Podcasts for Forbes. Having a blog changed her entire career trajectory, and the reason she was able to start one so easily was because sites like Wordpress existed that managed the technical components of blogging, letting users just focus on what they wanted to say. She started thinking: “Blogs are dying, being replaced by podcasts, but where is the ‘Wordpress for podcasts?’” Messy went live in January of 2018. 

Since Pitchfest 2018, as of February 2019, Messy’s podcasters have skyrocketed, and the company has just closed its oversubscribed pre-seed round. The business is currently gearing up for its seed round. Molly fondly recalls her personal and professional experience at Pitchfest 2018: “Participating in [the event] increased visibility for Messy.fm, connected me with amazing mentors and resources in the Glendale community, and gave me a whole new group of founders to befriend who are all at similar stages in their business. I am so happy I did it!” 

Robert Gellibolian - CellectGen

Robert Gellibolian - CellectGen

 

If you were to ask Robert about what motivates or inspires him, he’ll quote the iconic Yoda: “Do or do not…there is no try.” It’s easy to see how this philosophy would work for someone of Robert’s professional caliber. A Glendale native, Robert holds a doctorate in biochemistry from Texas A&M University. He has held senior-level positions at a number of healthtech companies including the House Ear Institute, Agilent Technologies, and DiscoveRx. His startup, CellectGen, develops devices and services with exciting implications for the future of preventive care—it allows patients to test for early-stage gum disease from the comfort and convenience of their homes, and to capture and relay the results using their smartphones.

Why did CellectGen focus on gum disease specifically? The answer is a combination of the disease’s prevalence, as well as how its treatment leaves certain critical areas for improvement. 47% of the U.S. population has periodontitis, an inflammation of the tissue around the teeth causing shrinkage of gums and loosening of the teeth. What’s more, its detection is reliant on dentists identifying problems by sight; these methods are subjective and require painful probing. The current system offers no predictive value.

The device raises intriguing possibilities for the optimization of the time of healthcare professionals, the democratization of health data, patient empowerment, and lowering of healthcare costs—it’s not difficult to see the device as a stepping stone to a future healthcare system in which patients are able to conveniently and accurately complete critical diagnostics steps for a range of diseases before they even reach the physician’s office.

Since Pitchfest 2018, Robert continues his groundbreaking work at the intersection of health and technology to develop his forward-looking tests, devices, and services. A dedicated member of the Glendale tech community, Robert has detailed his journey with CellectGen at October’s Glendale Tech on Tap event at the Glen Arden Club.

More ABOUT PITCHFEST

Each company will have 7 to 10 minutes to complete their pitch followed by a five minute Q&A. Companies selected to participate will also have an opportunity to attend an advance coaching session with the judges in an effort to perfect your pitch deck and address any pre-presentation questions. 


Who Qualifies? 

-Any science or technology product 

-Startup with zero-to-nominal revenues 

-Founder must present

 

Last Year’s Pitchfest Prize package

The $60,000 prize package is comprised of a suite of essential professional services for young startups, including:

 

- Access to leadership expertise, strategic guidance, and assistance with valuation provided by partners at Black Diamond Ventures valued at $5,000

- $5,000 in legal services from Bruno Group, Inc.

- $2,500 in accounting and business plan services provided by Sadd Velazquez Higashi Shamma

- $6,500 in marketing services including video production, graphic design & printing provided by the City of Glendale

- Investment structuring services and negotiations from Oceanview Capital Partners valued at $5,000

- Branding services valued at $10,000

- Various options for bookkeeping and accounting, tax planning and business plan services

- A guest spot in two local podcasts, including Glendale Tech on Tap and Millennial Fam

- VR-enhanced marketing services by Rodin + Knoxlabs

- A congratulatory ad in a business and technology publication paid for by the City of Glendale