NewME brought its first Popup Accelerator to Miami last week, and together with the Knight Foundation and LAB Miami, gave 65 South Florida participants a two-night pitch workshop, a one-on-one mentoring session with a Silicon Valley venture capitalist or NewME expert and the opportunity to present their ventures at Demo Night.
On Wednesday evening, 38 startup teams pitched to a crowd filling the risers of The Light Box Theater in Wynwood, and competed for tens of thousands of dollars in prizes. On the intimate stage, the teams made their two-minute pitches, each one accompanied by a pitch deck of 8 to 10 slides.
“Can’t you feel the energy? This is super exciting,” said Matt Haggman, program director of the Knight Foundation’s Miami office, which has been supporting and funding projects to help the startup community. “What’s going on here clearly shows there is something special happening and we look forward to contributing to it further.”
After the pitches, which were judged by two investors and Angela Benton, founder of NewME, Benton announced the winners:
— First place: Sew Love, pitched by Sabrina Scandar. Sewlove.co, founded by sisters Sabrina and Silvia Scandar, is a platform for crowdsourcing fashion design. The Scandars want to raise $300,000 to help them continue developing their platform, make some key hires and fire up a marketing strategy. They won a prize package worth $45,000 in goods and services to help them build their startup, plus they were accepted into NewME’s 2013 Accelerator class.