Oakland, California (EastBayDaily) — Following its successful debut last year after moving from San Francisco, Vator Splash, the international startup competition and educational conference for entrepreneurs and investors returns to Oakland on April 22 and 23. This year’s event, held at Kaiser Center’s lakefront location in Oakland’s Uptown district, will include workshop sessions, keynotes and competing tech startup finalist presentations. Oakland mayor, Libby Schaaf will provide opening remarks.
Oakland’s star is continuing to rise as a nationally renowned tech hub. In recent accolades, the city was ranked #3 among “Best Startup Cities in America” (Popular Mechanics, February 2015); #5 among the “Top 10 Cities for Tech Entrepreneurs” (National MoneyTree Report by PriceWaterhouseCoopers), and #7 in the nation for venture capital investment with 97 deals, and just under $1.2 billion as of December 2014 (National Venture Capital Association). There are an estimated 300 startups here with an average valuation of $4.3 million. Oakland also boasts the 2nd highest number of women in tech among the country’s 17 tech centers, according to RJ Metrics.
“Oakland is hot for tech startups and the money is starting to follow,” says Vator Splash Oakland executive producer Karen Wertman. “With more than 900 attendees last year and excellent media coverage, Vator Splash brought new attention to the Oakland’s creative, entrepreneurial spirit and its appeal to tech investors and innovators. A new kind of tech boom is emerging here with many working to build an economically sustainable ecosystem that also preserves Oakland’s diversity and livability."
Eight Splash Startup Competition finalists and will share the stage with “rock star” entrepreneurs, such as Adam Goldenberg, founder and CEO of JustFab, currently valued at $1 billion and Marco Zappacosta, founder and CEO of Thumbtack, which has raised $150 million in venture financing. Of note is that Thumbtack was the winner of Vator’s first startup competition in 2009. Competitors this year are vying to get on stage and win $40K in prizes and sit-down meetings with top VCs. The top two startups also receive a pair of round trip tickets from Alaska Airlines.
Vator founder Bambi Francisco said, “Splash has a solid history and track record of helping to educate and launch tech startups. Splash alumni have gone on to raise more than $400 million in follow-on capital in just five years after presenting on stage. We’re excited for Splash Oakland to once again inform and inspire the city’s role as both a viable tech hub and model for other cities.”
Sponsors and partners for year’s event include the City of Oakland, Port Workspaces, Alaska Airlines, Kapor Center for Social Impact, Javelin Venture Partners, the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, 2.Oakland, Visit Oakland, Scrubbed, Stratpoint and Bread & Butter Wines.
About Vator Splash: Vator Splash, the international start-up competition and venture capital conference series, brings together entrepreneurs, angel investors, VCs and high-tech influencers to discuss the current state of technology, innovation and investment. Vator Splash events have been held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, London and Oakland.
About Vator Founded in 2007 by award-winning veteran finance and technology journalist Bambi Francisco, the Vator media family includes Vator Splash; VatorNews, a news site boasting over 500 contributors covering the business and trends of high-tech innovation; Vator, one of the largest business networks dedicated to entrepreneurship and investors, Vator Competitions, an online competition management platform as well as a new investment platform.
Bambi Francisco Roizen