At Vator Splash LA, DogVacay.com, an AirBnB for dogs, took home the gold.
DogVacay.com allows travelers to board their dogs with other dog lovers, who can charge a fee of their choice. The site allows boarders and hosts to get info on one another first and then meet before agreeing to a boarding arrangement, and DogVacay.com provides an initial screening process as well.
DogVacay competed against more than 100 companies at Vator Splash LA this May through three rounds. The first round was a popular voting round. The second and third rounds were judges' rounds.
Among the judges were Alex Gurevich (Javelin Venture Partners), Adam Huie (Hatch Labs), Gabe de la Rosa (KPMG),Terence Fung (Senior lead Corp Dev at Zynga), Thomas McInerney, Bill Woodward (Anthem Venture Partners), David Carlick (Rho Capital Partners), Mike Jones(Science), David Cremin (DFJ Frontier), Howard Marks (StartEngine), Paul Bricault (Amplify), Alexander Maleki (Idealab), Erik Rannala (Mucker Labs), Sam Teller (Launchpad),David Austin (Turner Broadcasting's Media Camp), and Nate Redmond (Rustic Canyon Partners)
Do you want to present on stage in front of 350 high-tech influencers and try your shot at being Splash SF September Winner? Splash is free to enter. And, it's great marketing and exposure, along with some fun prizes, like sit-down meetings with VCs, an Apple iPad, free legal and accounting consultations, and more. Even though success is not defined by how much money a company has raised, past Vator winners, such as Thumbtack, Getable, Grovo, Astrid, Udemy, and Geeklist have gone on to raise millions of dollars collectively from venerable VCs, soon after presenting.
Here's some testimonials:
"The process of inviting everyone one we knew to vote for us, even before the event, was a fantastic way to build support for our company. Then presenting at Vator Splash was a blast. The short presentation style ensured the audience was engaged and the follow-up questions from the judges were on-point and constructive. At Vator Splash, I made great connections with a number of investors and had a number of follow-up meetings. We were able to raise our last round entirely from investors who discovered us from the publicity we generated from Vator Splash," said Jon Paris, CEO and founder of Astrid.
"Working with Vator, and Bambi, is a pleasure. She's really passionate about uniting great ideas with the right people. We actually tied for first in last years Vator Splash SF and as a direct result raised $150,000 from an investor who saw us pitch. TEEC Angels approached us right at the event and invested soon thereafter. Reuben Katz, CEO and founder of Geeklist.
"Vator has acted as a launchpad for my startup in terms of awareness and exposure. As a winner of a Vator competition, my startup enjoyed early traction and buzz. Vator has kept my business relevant in the minds of investors, entrepreneurs and potential employees. I've made many invaluable connections to the investor and entrepreneur community." Tim Hyer, founder and CEO, Getable.
"DogVacay.com won Vator Splash LA in June 2012. The competition allowed us an opportunity to meet and pitch against some of the great Los Angeles startups and further foster our entrepreneurial community. There was such a positive energy with so many great minds providing insightful feedback throughout the night. Two paws up, Vator!" Aaron Hirschhorn, founder & Top Dog, Dog Vacay
"Events like Vator Splash are critical for startups to generate awareness. We were a top 10 finalist for Splash LA. It provided us with an amazing opportunity to network and gain exposure to a whole community of investors and VCs. Soon after, we raised $3M as a result of the momentum/exposure from the event and the platform in general." Peter Vogel, founder of Plink.
Join the Splash competition here.