Divshot wins Crowdstart LA contest, takes home $25k
Divshot, a Kansas City, Mo. startup born at Kansas City Startup Weekend in April, took first place today at Crowdstart LA, a live pitch event hosted by crowdfunding platform Crowdfunder. Today's competition in Santa Monica was the culmination of a 7-week crowdsourced startup contest entered by more than 600 companies and whittled down to 10 finalists.
"The quality of presenting companies ranged from the extremely impressive and polished including several young but break even or cashflow positive companies, to the more immature and conceptual," PandoDaily's Michael Carney reported. "Both DivShot and (first runner-up) Addroid stood head and shoulders above the rest."
Currently in private beta, Divshot is a drag-and-drop editor for creating websites that work on desktops and mobiles devices. PandoDaily reported that its beta has been used by hundreds and that when asked by the judges what it'll take to scale its product, the presenters replied: "We're pretty confident that we can be bootstrap profitable. We're just looking for strategic financial partners to accelerate our trajectory.
We've reached out to Bleigh for comment and will update this post, as needed (see below). Here's the co-founders' reaction as expreseed on Twitter:
— Michael Bleigh (@mbleigh) July 11, 2012
We are honored and so @#*$@ excited to have been chosen as the winner for #CrowdLA!
— Divshot (@divshot) July 11, 2012
For more on Divshot and Crowdstart LA, check out PandoDaily's write-up, "DivShot and Addroid Shine Brightest at CROWDSTART LA Competition", and the startup's contest profile on Crowdfunder.
Update Wednesday – We conducted an email interview with Bleigh (below) about Crowdstart LA and what's next for Divshot.
Silicon Prairie News: How does it feel to win?
Michael Bleigh: We're ecstatic! We took a gamble flying out to LA and it paid off big time.
SPN: Does this bring you and your team a sense validation to what you've been building?
MB: We really feel validated that we were able to pitch a very tech-oriented product against general and consumer-facing startups and come out ahead. It tells us that even people who aren't developers and designers can see the value in what we're doing.
SPN: How do you plan to put the $25,000 to use?
MB: We plan to use the funding to promote Divshot at hackathons, programming competitions, and conferences nationwide. The more we can spread the word, the better off we'll be.
SPN: When do you expect to launch pubic beta?
MB: Our hope is to enter public beta by early August, but we hope to have a limited-functionality demo available for public consumption even earlier than that. :)
SPN: Anything else you'd like to add?
MB: As part of preparing for this pitch we actually completely rebranded the product with a new logo and aesthetic. Check it out at divshot.com.
Credits: Photo of Bleigh from twitter.com