Big firms pitch to startups in SwitchPitch Miami event

By Nicel Jane Avellana

Feb 22, 2014 04:42 PM EST

In demo day events, it's typically the startups that go on stage to pitch to possible investors or clients. However, an event in Miami sponsored by SwitchPitch on Thursday, February 20, turned the tables around, the Miami Herald reported.

Held at the LightBox in Wynwood, the event had Bacardi, Celebrity Cruises and other firms making five-minute pitches to 80 startups, introducing their technology and marketing projects to those who might be interested in forming a strategic partnership for the short or long-term, the report said.

The report quoted SwitchPitch Co-Founder Michael Goldstein as saying, "It is a great day to be a startup because bigger companies are more and more willing to work with startups to get innovation done. I've been there, I know what happens, you get a meeting with a big company only to find out the contact is the wrong contact or the timing is all wrong. We think this is a more efficient process to listen to what the big companies need."

One example was Celebrity Cruises who was looking to grow its mobile app and make it more modern so they can improve their customers' experience before they go on a cruise, while they are on board and after they disembark from the ship. Bacardi, for its part, was seeking unique solutions for its loyalty programs as well as for its projects which include a mobile game app and an app for home delivery and re-ordering. Michael Hall of the startup MediumFour has risen to the challenge, saying he could help Bacardi with his app, the report said.

When the big firms have already made their pitches, the startups are given the chance to ask questions and networking follows. Those upstarts that can meet the needs presented are urged to give their proposals through the SwitchPitch platform for the companies to review, the report said.

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