Startups Will Showcase Their Inventions During the ‘Pitch Heard ‘Round the World’
Boston TechJam festival is taking over Faneuil Hall and City Hall Plaza for a day-long innovation networking event.
A music, tech, and innovation festival this week will give six area startups looking to grow their business a chance to stand before some of the top venture capitalists in the city and pitch their ideas.
On June 12, the second annual Boston TechJam, which bills itself as a networking opportunity void of the stodgy practices usually seen at tradeshows, will feature 75 booths where companies will set up shop under small tents and showcase their businesses to the public, as bands play in the background.
“Networking is a major motivator of people attending and people exhibiting. For some it means a job search, for others it means selling their product,” said Mark Lorion, cofounder of Boston TechJam.
Prior to the large outdoor networking event, which will feature games at each company’s respective tent, a competition between half a dozen local startup concepts will be held inside the Faneuil Hall Meeting Building, where a panel of judges will listen to what entrepreneurs are working on and provide feedback to the business hopefuls during the “Startup Pitch Heard ‘Round the World.”
A month ago, more than 50 “early stage” companies submitted entry forms to be part of the Boston TechJam finals, but only six were selected to advance to the main stage to talk about their inventions in front of a large audience, and some well-known investors that might be interested in throwing cash behind their products. “They represent small, growing teams and have a range of product types. But together they represent the greater breadth of what’s coming out of Boston,” said Lorion of the finalists that made it through the vetting process.
Among the top picks that will be competing for a package of prizes to help spur their innovative practices are a Bitcoin ATM company, a product made by a team of inventors that goes into your shoe and charges your smartphone as you walk, and a phone app system to help measure and detect concussions on sports playing fields. “For some companies and teams this is a first step. Their next move is to try and get into one of the incubators or accelerators [in Boston]. We are just trying to give people a start who are having a hard time getting out there,” said Lorion.
New this year on the agenda is a series of mini lectures and discussions about the tech and innovation industry, reminiscent of TED-talks.
Regardless if people go for the tech talks, the pitch competition, or the street festival at the end of the day, Lorion said there’s one common purpose for the annual event: making connections. “It’s really for the publicity and the connections that are going to be made,” said Lorion.