Boston Startups Going Head-to-Head With New York Companies During Pitch-off
The Boston-versus-New York rivalry is about to add another notch to its belt.
On Wednesday, three local startups will have three minutes to pitch their business plans to a panel of judges and a live audience that will include big-time investors, while at the same time trying to beat out tech companies coming from New York City.
The “Fenway Fast Pitch,” hosted by Beacon Capitol Partners and the co-working space WeWork at Fenway Park, will certainly give Boston-based businesses a home-field advantage, but the opportunity for founders to take home $15,000 to go toward expanding their enterprise will still be met by some serious competition.
“There are some good companies coming out of New York,” said Simon-Pierre Behr, who works for SpotLight Parking, one of the three Boston startups picked to advance to the Fenway Fast Pitch event this week. “It’s a pretty quick pitch—only three minutes—and it’s actually an audience based voting system. But we’re confident our idea is attractive and we should win the audiences heart.”
SpotLight Parking, which has been called “the Uber of valet parking,” is still working out some details with the city in terms of its functionality, but they’re far enough along in their business plans that the founders believe they will come out on top.
“It’s clear from our [presentation] that we’re going after similar groups of people who use Uber, and we’re the most developed out of the companies that will be pitching,” said the company’s CEO, Mike Miele. “We’re coming to the final days with our pilot with select companies in the Back Bay, and as soon as we get the green light from Boston we’re going to expand.”
SpotLight is up against New York’s DataCoup, Renthackr, and JackPocket. Competition from Boston includes Generation Citizen, which aims to get young people involved with governmental affairs, and VerbalCare, an app that improves relations between patients and doctors, created by Verbal Applications.
The growing list of attendees will have a large say in which startup takes home the grand prize, but it’s not just the money and accolades that SpotLight Parking is looking to scoop up.
Miele said there would be angel investors lurking in the crowd who may take interest in what SpotLight Parking is trying to accomplish. He said having some time on the stage matched with the high visibility gives his startup a leg-up in terms of scouting potential backers.
“I see us being the most attractive on a large-scale level,” he said. “We are trying to do something that’s going to launch and expand fast.”