If you attended the event, you would have not been surprised, as this company won the hearts of our investor panelists. When Robert Scoble (the emcee of the startup presentations) asked Mayfield's Raj Kapoor, Norwest's Tim Chang and Washington Post's Thao Tran which of the five presenting companies they liked, the overwhelming response was Breakthrough.
The three investors were the investor panelists providing insight and feedback to the last five presenting finalists. Breakthrough CEO Mark Goldenson and Project Manager Sarah Seegal were in that group. The other top five finalists presented in an earlier segment, in front of Matrix Partners' Dana Stalder, Javelin Ventures' Jed Katz and Ackrell Capital's Ezra Roizen.
Being the final startup left standing was not an easy feat. Palo Alto, Calif.-based Breakthrough first competed against more than 100 startups in an online competition that ran a couple months. Through popular voting, Breakthrough landed in the top 25 semi-finalist round. At that point, our online judges, which consisted of the judges onstage as well as North Bridge's Cali Tran, Claremont Creek's Micah Myers, CMEA's Sumeet Jain, HP's Bernard Slede, KPMG's Steven Morgan, and Vator Splash (Feb) winner Tim Hyer of RentCycle judged the 25 semi-finalists based on three criteria.
The combination of the popular vote (40%) and judges' vote (60%) determined the top 10 finalists.
Then the 10 finalists, which consisted of Breakthrough, Palo Alto, Calif.-based Appbackr, Mountain View, Calif.-based Micromobs, Bellevue, WA.-based Interview Studio, San Francisco-based Cohuman, Tempe, AZ-based OrangeSlyce, Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Phone Halo, La Jolla, Calif.-based Bump, Emeryville, Calif.-based MYeGamer, and Irvine, Calif.-based PlayMyAd presented onstage. The audience then voted for their favorite.
Upon winning the audience favorite vote, Breakthrough went back onstage for a special addition of Vator Box (which is our version of American Idol), called Splash Box.
As part of that segment, Breakthrough presented in front of our investor panelists Aydin Senkut of Felicis Ventures, Rob Hayes of First Round Capital, Rick Heitzmann of Firstmark Capital, and Gideon Yu of Khosla Ventures. for Splash Box. Ezra Roizen of Ackrell Capital fielded questions.