The winners each received a $5,000 check, along with workspace and services from the Venture Group. The winning companies will also have access to the Venture Group’s recently announced regional office in Silicon Valley (The Beachhead), where startups can work while they connect with venture capitalists in San Francisco.
A total of 12 startups made it to the semi-finals for the PitchFest competition, and were narrowed down to four semi-finalists earlier this month. At a dinner event on Dec. 13, the audience played judge, selecting a winner for the technology category and the life science category.
Tech winner Lymber makes a fitness app that helps users find classes and workouts that won’t cost monthly fees. Founded by Digitaria founders Chuck Phillips and Doug Hecht, the startup has experience on its side. Hecht is also one of the partners of SEED San Diego, one of the most active angel investor groups in San Diego.
Life science winner Sun Genomics is more of an underdog story. Founded by scientist Suneer “Sunny” Jain, the company is a two-man show currently working out of Lab Fellows. The brand new startup won against more developed life science competitors, such as CureMatch and Xycrobe. The company has developed the next generation of laboratory and product solutions to manage microbiome signatures, Jain said.