An app linking low-tech farmers to hi-tech profits won in the most recent PUSHTech2020 Summit held at the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco. The summit witnessed bright Latino and African-American entrepreneurs and leaders present their innovative pitches to a select panel of distinguished judges.
From projects connecting patients to clinical trials to a concept of online study halls with tutors for students, to a smart video that monitors your vital signs to an application linking small-scale farmers to high-end profits, the participants had them all.
The table of judges comprised of executives from powerhouse names like Google, Comcast, Cisco, and Salesforce, among others. Their criteria for judging included product innovation, ability to execute, value of differentiation and the attractiveness of the market.
A Summit of Great Heights
The summit is backed by Reverend Jesse Jackson, known civil rights leader, along with a number of other influential investors. Their goal is to fund good things and grand ideas from fresh minds. So far, the summit attracted an interesting audience from business leaders to venture capitalists.
It worked like a speed dating event. The participants each had a limited amount of time to present their pitch and to woo the investors. The audience, the investors, and the judges were also only given a few minutes to form their opinions, ask questions and make their judgment.
The winning pitch was by Alvaro Ramirez who created an application to help small farmers increase their profits by linking them directly with big truckers and retailers. Ramirez is a graduate of Colorado Technical University and works for eHarvestHub. He was awarded $10,000 via Salesforce Ventures.
A Call to Action
Apart from the award that awaited the best pitch, the summit also offered grand opportunities for networking. Outside the pitch rooms were breakout sessions where industry leaders and key players talked about their industry, about how-to’s and about the long drawn out question on diversification.
There were several CEOs, VPs and managers from big-time names like Apple, Twitter, Intel, HP, Yelp, Pandora, and many others. There were so many tech leaders assembled in the room the excitement was almost palpable. The environment was perfect to inspire newbies and to sharpen the mature players.
Brian Krzanich, Intel’s CEO, spoke during lunch about a $5 million partnership for a STEM program with Oakland Unified School District. He reiterated the goal of the summit, which is to call for more women, Latinos and blacks in the tech sector.