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On April 12, 2016, over one hundred startups pitched their ideas during a pitching competition called “Arena Festival” organized by Expert Dojo in Santa Monica. Experto Dojo is a company based in the Silicon Beach tech district whose mission is to “help entrepreneurs build empires” through networking events, accelerator programs and business advisory.

For the “Arena Festival” event at the center of the stage sat Paige Craig, former angel investor and managing partner of Arena Ventures, a Venture Capital firm based in Santa Monica. Paige Craig’s impressive portfolio as an angel investor includes investments in Lyft, Twitter, Postmates, Wlsh; his VC, Arena Venture, is currently backing Honk, Mytable, Produce Pay, One Month, among many others.

The extremely fast pace of the pitching competition was matched by the bluntness of Paige Craig’s quick remarks and pressing questions: “it’s not a fit, next”, “cool idea, go talk to my guy”. Only a handful of startups survived, not necessarily the best, but certainly the ones in line with Arena Venture’s vision which excluded any startup presenting products or software with hardware components.

The requirements to be taken into consideration by Craig were:

  • strictly no hardware
  • software apps
  • marketplace apps
  • e-commerce apps
  • big data analytics
  • encryption
  • social networks
  • the UBER of “fill-in-interesting-vertical”

Below some of the highlights – startups with a product already available (click to open download link or website).

Holysnap!

Trainersvault

Enkrypt

Gatsby

 

GC - Innovation Desk Los Angeles

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