San Diego Business Journal

Firm Swoops in to Take Top Honors at PitchFest

Monday, November 21, 2011

SwoopThat LLC, a San Diego business that operates an online site aimed at college students, captured first place and the $10,000 grand prize in the San Diego Venture Group’s annual PitchFest event Nov. 17 at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla, SDVG announced Nov. 18.

Founded by Jonathan Simkin about a year ago, SwoopThat uses proprietary search technology that enables students to get better prices on the textbooks they need by linking them to online merchants, he said.

SwoopThat beat out two other finalists, Gamer Grub and Deal Current Network Inc., which were allocated 10 minutes to persuade potential investors about the viability of their enterprises.

The three finalists were culled from an initial field of about 70 applicants, said David Titus, San Diego Venture Group’s president.

The two runners-up split $7,500 in prize money coming from SDVG, a nonprofit organization of the venture investment community.

The applicants went through a screening process earlier this year. The judges of the contest were local entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and professionals.

— Mike Allen