This year's Vator Splash Oakland was our biggest event yet, with more than 950 registered attendees and a slew of panels and speakers. But we didn't forget what Splash is still all about: getting excellent startups up on stage in front of VCs and entreprenuers.
This time, we had 15 companies competing against each other for the top spot, and, in the end it was Oakland-based OppSites that won the global Splash competition!
OppSites empowers municipalities and professional planners to identify sites where increased economic opportunity exists, and broadcast that information to the investment community.
The company allows Investors and Developers to find investment opportunities that may not be publicly listed, and learn about development priorities and incentives.
In the end it was a super close decision, with Selection Committee judges voting Enplug as Runner Up.
Enplug is a next generation digital out of home network that operates a network of over 200 interactive displays located in high traffic venues such as bars, restaurants, cafes, and other retail locations. Its social media billboards are instantly interactive, allowing venue patrons to engage with the displays using nothing but their mobile device and existing social media account.
OppSites and Enplug were part of the Final Showdown that featured five of the top 15 finalists. Those five were chosen by Selection Committee judges. The other three of the Final Five included SpotLabs, KidAdmit and Clef.
Selection Committee judges included Ben Ling of Khosla Ventures, Jed Katz of Javelin Venture Partners, Josh Stein of DFJ, Erik Moore of Base VC, Jules Walker from KPMG, Drew Curtis, founder of Fark, Lyle Fong, founder of Lithium Technologies, Patrick Lee, founder of Rotten Tomatoes, Kristina Omari, an angel investor, Neal Hansch of Meltwater.
At the end of the event, Stein, Katz and Ling discussed the committee's decision and it came down to the monopoly aspect of OppSites opportunity. OppSites is pursuing an idea that very few are doing - which is aggregating and organizing real estate owned by cities and municipalities. It's already landed a few cities, including the city of Oakland.
We also allowed the people who came to Splash Oakland to vote for their favorite startup as well, and The People's Choice award went to ShopPad.
ShopPad allows retailers to deliver beautiful shopping experiences to their customers on any device. Its SaaS solution solves the multi-channel problem by integrating with a retailer’s E-Commerce store. Once installed, ShopPad provides native support for smartphones, tablets and in-store kiosks.
A special prize went to Brimes Energy for being the startup with the boldest idea.
Congrats to all four startups!