WINSTON-SALEM – One of five startups prepping to pitch at the New Ventures Accelerator Demo Day on Friday has already drawn attention from a global giant – but not as an investor or a big brother.
Google flagged and then deleted their activity on the Google Cloud Platform due to the belief the company was actively mining cryptocurrency.
The company, which event organizers declined to identify, wasn’t mining currency. Its team was training an advanced machine learning data model, which does require significant power and processing speed, and they did eventually work to get their operations back up and running.
Thus it can showcase products along with its cohort members to an audience that might approach 300 people at the Demo Day.. More than 250 people have already registered, and organizers are still accepting registrations online.
Interestingly in the wake of the Google incident, processing power is at the core of Friday’s showcase.
“The power of processing,” said Joel Bennett, who leads the startup accelerator for New Ventures, in a public post on LinkedIn. “That is the theme of the year.”
The success or failure of a startup often comes down to each founder’s power and capacity for processing, said Bennett. The formula for a successful accelerator can be simply summarized as: get accepted, show up, build an MVP based on customer discovery, prove the idea by demonstrating value, and show potential investors or strategic partners there is an investment thesis that is worth a lot of money. But it does take processing power, said Bennett.
“I want you to know that I respect each and every one of you,” wrote Bennett to the cohort on Wednesday morning in an email shared with WRAL TechWire. “I admire your courage, your spirit, and your self-determination.”
Setting the stage
The New Ventures Accelerator Demo Day is just one component of a day-long showcase of the Triad’s most promising startups and keynote sessions from leaders in North Carolina’s entrepreneurial community.
More than 30 of the region’s early-stage companies will conduct live demonstrations of their products in the atrium of the Wake Forest Biotech Place, including cohort alum enterprise blockchain technology company Flur.ee, which released their product earlier this summer.
The morning also features sessions led by Triad-area entrepreneurial development and entrepreneurial support organizations, including VentureSouth, LaunchGSO, Winston Starts, and the Small Business Center at Forsyth Technical Community College. Five VentureSouth portfolio companies will also give a lightning pitch to investors and the assembled audience.
Thom Ruhe, president and CEO of NC IDEA, will give a keynote address at 3 p.m., followed by pitches from each of the companies in the New Ventures Accelerator 2018 cohort.
Since 2016, New Ventures portfolio companies have raised over $4.4 million in additional capital from regional seed funds and investors. Several high-growth startup companies that originated and funded through New Ventures include Petrics, Ampogee, LeadingRole, and Arxchitect. More than 40 investors are engaged in the 2018 New Ventures Fund.
For those five companies in the 2018 cohort—Fixional, OneDonation, Rent Assured, Conventional Applications, and B-Line Analytics—the last 12 weeks of content, advice, discovery, and preparation will come to fruition.
“You have a once in a lifetime opportunity in front of you,” said Bennett to the founders. “This moment will never happen again.”