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Innovation & Job News

SwitchPitch adds online platform and SpeedMeetings to facilitate deals

SwitchPitch, the pitch event series that began in 2013 and invites large corporations to pitch their project needs to startups, is gearing up for another series. This year, startups and corporations have the opportunity to connect online via SwitchPitch Connect, a "LinkedIn platform for business development," says Michael Goldstein, president of SwitchPitch. The company has also launched SpeedMeetings, a kind of post-event speed dating to further help corporations and startups connect.

"[Since its inception in 2013], SwitchPitch has generated $2 million in revenue generation from projects," Goldstein says. "That money has gone to startups rather than [being spent internally] or to big vendors."

"SwitchPitch Connect is an online marketplace for business development projects," says Goldstein. He and his team built the online engine at the request of previous corporate participants, who were looking for a way to figure out which startups to work with. Goldstein tells of corporate representatives walking away with "50 startup business cards and asking, 'How do I choose who to work with?' Plus, there's an entire market we aren't serving through live events."

To use the platform, startups create a free profile and indicate what types of projects they want to work on (creating apps, building a network and so forth). "[The] projects [listed on the site] come from events and online postings," Goldstein says. "There is a fee for startups to apply for projects, to make sure that they really want to apply." Fees are currently $95 per project, or $295 for unlimited applications to projects on the site for one year.

There is a way around the fees; if startups are affiliated with Techstars or 500 Startups, they can apply fee-free. Goldstein says he is talking to other venture groups "to be named" about creating affiliations for their startups so that they might apply for projects without paying a fee.

Last year, Goldstein and his team held SwitchPitch events in L.A., New York, Atlanta, and Miami, as well as two in D.C. So far for 2015, SwitchPitch has announced events in Miami in March and D.C., sometime in the spring.

Read more articles by Allyson Jacob.

Allyson Jacob is a writer originally hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, and is the Innovation and Job News editor for Elevation DC. Her work has been featured in The Cincinnati Enquirer and Cincinnati CityBeat. Have a tip about a small business or start-up making waves inside the Beltway? Tell her here.
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