San Diego startup Guru scored $225,000 in cash and professional services for winning a pitch competition Thursday night put on by startup leaders and Qualcomm Ventures.
The competition, called SeismicSD, was the first of its kind in that several unaffiliated startup organizations came together to support the event, including San Diego Venture Group, tech incubator EvoNexus, angel investor group Tech Coast Angels and nonprofit Connect.
The event attracted 300 attendees and over 100 investors (almost half of which were from Silicon Valley), according to Qualcomm Ventures spokesperson Yennie Rautenberg.
“We have not seen this number of Silicon Valley investors exposed to San Diego-based startups before,” Rautenberg said in an email.
The judges of the event were all investors, including representatives from Avalon Ventures, Revolution Ventures, Seed San Diego and Qualcomm Ventures.
Nine local startups were chosen to compete, selected by leaders of the startup groups and Qualcomm Ventures. The contestants – all tech companies - were Guru, Additive Rocket Corp., Fabric8Labs, Tortuga Logic, Grolltex, Urban Translations, Qeepsake, VerifiR and Grypon.
“We see San Diego as the epicenter of innovation in tech, and this event being the catalyst towards increasing awareness of the strength of San Diego’s startup ecosystem,” Rautenberg said.
Qualcomm Ventures is the investment arm of local tech giant Qualcomm Inc., which has been active in San Diego’s tech startup scene in the past few years. Ten San Diego startups have received funding from Qualcomm Ventures, including AttackIQ, Sotera Wireless, FatSkunk (acquired by Qualcomm), Arynga (acquired by Intel), Verve Mobile and Edico Genome.
SeismicSD’s winner, Guru, makes a smartphone app that helps people explore museums and other cultural institutions. The app increases group tour revenue by 63 percent, according to the company. The app also shows strong re-engagement of their apps (52 percent).
Guru’s $225,000 prize included $100,000 in funding, $100,000 in cloud services/support credits from Amazon Web Services and $25,000 in legal services from DLA Piper.