The Journey From Hackathon To Global Demo Day 2018
17 Startups, Prizes From 500 Startups & AngelPad, And One Big International Family
This year, 17 early-stage startups descended on San Francisco on the week of Halloween for some intense in-person face time with their HACKcelerator, AngelHack, and other expert mentors (like Mentor of the Year, Manoj Chawla of EasyPeasy Limited and Pitch Mentor, Nathan Gold) getting them ready for Global Demo Day. AngelHack’s Global Demo Day is the finale of a 12-week virtual accelerator program that sources their founders through winning hackathon projects, then provides mentors and an extensive curriculum accessed by select teams in cities around the world.
These startups tackled issues and technologies like machine learning, blockchain, agricultural tech using satellite imagery and AI, wedding planning Tinder-style, dog blood donations, and more.
Over 50 teams accepted their invites into the HACKcelerator, but only 17 received an invite to Global Demo Day. These teams rose to the top of their cohort, demonstrating a clear business strategy, early traction, fantastic MVPs, and most importantly, a commitment to the idea that they dreamt up at a hackathon months prior.
So after weeks and weeks of jumping on Zoom calls with a bunch of their cohort in their time-zone and an expert mentor educating them on things like growth hacking, validating their MVP, and more; they were flown out to San Francisco to meet their fellow founders and the AngelHack team.
We took over Galvanize’s beautiful space in San Francisco, bunkered up and put in hours and hours of work from Monday to Wednesday night, finalizing their pitches and pitch decks. Speaking of Galvanize, it was really the perfect space to spend all those hours. Their community is full of entrepreneurs and they host tons of workshops every month, as well as full on edu programs (like our favorite, Data Science and Software Engineering). Check them out in SF or any of their other locations if you want to put yourself in an environment that really gets you in an innovative mindset.
We saw pitch decks go from underwhelming, to extraordinary. We saw pitches go from unrehearsed and shaky, to bold and strong. The work was tough, with early mornings and long nights and the stress was high, but the founders all proved that they belonged there.
Global Demo Day
On November 1st, the startups and AngelHack team took over the Regency Centre in San Francisco for the main event and the official after-party, Startup Bash. The night began with the startups and AngelHack team preparing last minute details in their pitches, coordinating lighting and rundown of the night. The teams pitched to an audience filled with investors, entrepreneurs to showcase their startup. Global Demo Day consisted of the pitches of the 17 startups along with the AngelHack team’s remarks on the ever growing community of entrepreneurship and innovation around the world.
Only one startup was deemed the winner of the night and it was a high school team from Austin, Texas, Pigeon. Co-founders Shashank Kumar and Rohith Karkala impressed the audience and panel of judges with their use of AI to create an intelligent real time communication platform for meetings.
The night ended with the infamous Startup Bash where the teams let loose and danced the night away. Thanks to our sponsors at ABInBev, we were able to end off the night on a good note filled with good music and good people.
Post Global Demo Day
After a night of pitches, the startups had a day to themselves to explore the city and relax. To wrap up Silicon Valley Week and Global Demo Day, we hosted a farewell picnic at Dolores Park where all the startups and the AngelHack team came together for the last time before everyone flies out. This year’s cohort impressed us all and we could not be happier and prouder of the startups who came out to San Francisco. We had a diverse number of startups who we had the pleasure of working with and are thankful to be a part of their journey.