1871-launched MarkITx, WeDeliver to participate in Google Demo Day
Two Chicago companies launched out of the 1871 coworking center will present their business plans to
Google and a panel of tech funding luminaries next month as part of a Google push to interact more with startups through business and developer groups.
The Chicago startups are MarkITx, an online exchange for used computer hardware, and WeDeliver, which offers same-day delivery of consumer products, 1871 announced Tuesday. Eight other companies also will present for five minutes apiece, followed by a Q&A from celebrity judges.
The Demo Day, scheduled April 2 at Google’s Mountain View, Calif., headquarters, features companies from the North America Tech Hub Network, a year-old association of seven up-and-running North American urban tech hubs, including 1871, recognized last year by Google for Entrepreneurs for building high-growth companies outside of Silicon Valley.
The six other hubs are Denver’s Galvanize; CoCo, in the former Minneapolis Grain Exchange; the Nashville Entrepreneur Center; Detroit’s Grand Circus; Ontario-based Communitech; and American Underground in
Judges at the business-pitch competition will be former
AOL CEO Steve Case, now an investor based in Washington, D.C.;early stage investor Stephanie Palmeri of SoftTech VC; and Google Ventures general partner MG Siegler.
Google won’t be buying the companies.
The goal, at least from Google’s perspective, is to allow the startups to gain exposure to Silicon Valley investors and learn from judges’ questions while also exposing them to Google resources including its ad system, apps and business-support programs. The company in essence has used its clout in the industry to connect each urban area’s tech connector.
"Google is a startup at heart and wants to help entrepreneurs everywhere get access to the resources they need to grow their companies," said John Lyman, head of partnerships for Google for Entrepreneurs. "This Demo Day will give 10 startups the opportunity to meet with Silicon Valley investors and Google product experts. The startups will also have the chance to network with Google for Entrepreneurs partners and other technology companies."
Besides MarkITX and WeDeliver, the other companies are Automated Insights, Docalytics, GoSpotCheck, InvisionHeart, iRule At Home, Kidizen, Mojio and Windsor Circle.
"It's a great deal," said MarkITx CEO Frank Muscarello. "No. 1, I think we can represent Chicago well. And you’re going to be with some of the greatest startup companies coming out of coworking spaces around the country. Any time you can build your network and build the amount of people you can talk to around raising capital with entrepreneurs who’ve done it before? It creates a huge opportunity."