NASHVILLE, Tenn., May 21, 2014 – Launch Tennessee and PandoDaily have announced the remaining pitch competition judges for the 2014 Southland entrepreneur conference, which will take place June 9 – 11 in Nashville. They are: Tige Savage of Revolution Ventures; Michael Goldstein of SwitchPitch; Zach Ware of Project100; Erik Moore of Base Ventures; and Peter Barth of the Iron Yard.
“The ten judges coming to Southland represent some of the very best in the business,” said Launch Tennessee CEO Charlie Brock. “Together, they have decades of experience as investors and entrepreneurs, and they are supremely qualified to choose the winner of the Southland Pitch Competition.”
Savage co-founded Revolution LLC with Steve Case in 2005 and currently co-leads Revolution Ventures, which invests in and helps build innovative and impactful companies. He was named one of the Washington, D.C. area’s 100 “Tech Titans.”
Goldstein founded SwitchPitch, a role-reversal event where established companies pitch funded innovation projects to qualified startups. A serial entrepreneur, Goldstein also runs Exhilarator, a D.C.-based accelerator.
Ware is founder and CEO of Project100, co-founder of Work In Progress and a general partner at VegasTechFund. He developed the downtown Las Vegas campus for Zappos.com, which Bloomberg called the fourth most impressive corporate office in the world.
Moore is founder and managing director of Base Ventures, where he has invested in almost two dozen startups, including Zappos.com before it was sold to Amazon for $1.2 billion.
Barth is CEO of The Iron Yard, which operates multiple intensive code schools, startup accelerators, kids programming courses, electronics classes and co-working locations throughout the country. He has had several successful startup exits in his career.
Each of the 10 judges have agreed to put up an individual investment of $10,000 that will be pooled together to create the $100,000 grand prize. At the conference, 10 startups will pitch, and the details of the investment will be negotiated between the judges and the winner on stage.
The previously announced judges are Josh Kopelman of First Round Capital, Shervin Pishevar of Sherpa Ventures, Kirsten Green of Forerunner Ventures, Kevin Colleran of General Catalyst and Vic Gatto from Nashville’s Jumpstart Foundry.
Each of the top 10 startups will be paired with a high-caliber mentor who will help the team refine their pitch and provide business guidance in the weeks leading up to Southland. Mentor commitments include Phil Libin of Evernote; Andy Dunn of Bonobos; and Tristan Walker of Walker & Company. These individuals have agreed to not only attend Southland as speakers, but also pledge more of their time as a mentor. The mentors will be required to do two Skype sessions before Southland, an in-person meeting at the conference prior to the competition and also be present on stage to provide assistance and support as their startups make their pitch. This customized mentor-presenter model should provide great value to the companies and make for some lively Q&A sessions with the judges.
Launch Tennessee is a public-private partnership focused on supporting the development of high-growth companies in the state of Tennessee with the ultimate goal of making Tennessee the No. 1 place in the Southeast for entrepreneurs to start and grow a company. Launch Tennessee focuses on four key areas: entrepreneurship, commercialization, capital and outreach. Launch Tennessee is in part funded by a grant from the State of Tennessee. Please friend Launch Tennessee on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/LaunchTN), Twitter (www.Twitter.com/LaunchTN), YouTube (www.YouTube.com/LaunchTN) and Flickr (www.Flickr.com/LaunchTN).
PandoDaily is a web publication that offers technology news, analysis and commentary, with a focus on Silicon Valley, New York and Los Angeles startup ecosystems. PandoDaily was formed in January 2012 with the primary goal of being the site of record for Silicon Valley. Since then, PandoDaily has produced more than 30 events through their Emmy Nominated PandoMonthly series. For more information on PandoDaily, visit their website(www.pandodaily.com), Twitter(www.twitter.com/pandodaily) and Facebook(www.facebook.com/pandodaily). For more information on Southland, please visit www.southlandse.com.