ADOTAS — While events like TechCrunch Disrupt offer startups the opportunity to pitch their innovative ideas and business models to established entrepreneurs and venture capital firms, SwitchPitch is turning this model on its head. The organization bills its conferences as role-reversal events, where established companies pitch funded projects to startups looking for great partners.
“Large companies can use a startup to skip the slow and often arduous process that comes when a large company wants to implement something new,” said Michael Goldstein (pictured), Founder of SwitchPitch and the accelerator Exhilarator. “They can identify market opportunity and jump on it more quickly with a startup. They benefit culturally too. Startups bring energy and new ways of thinking. That can inspire more innovation in a more established company.”
With SwitchPitch events taking place in New York and Los Angeles, this model hopes to disrupt the status quo and breathe new life into how business is conceived and executed. By focusing on regional events around the country, SwitchPitch wants to change the relationship between startups and corporations on a larger scale.
At its New York event last month, the conference showcased 22 innovation projects from HBO, Time Inc., Pitney Bowes, and over 450 people from the startup community attended, representing companies from Tel Aviv, Paris, Canada and the United States. The full project list from the recent New York event can be found here. As a result, more than $500,000 of projects were presented and as of today, over half of the attendees have engaged with SwitchPitch’s submission platform to apply for projects unveiled during the New York event.
“Many of the presenting companies at SwitchPitch events are media companies looking to better monetize and audience or an asset,” said Goldstein. “There is no shortage of need for improvements in adtech platforms and technology to make advertising more useful to readers, more effective for advertisers and more profitable for media companies.”
Goldstein is looking to expand its event format to other cities with strong startup communities and will continue to add functionality to its online platform to match big company ideas with scrappy startups.
“As mediums and media change — moving to social media and mobile — the tools required to make advertising effective for all constituents must adapt,” he said. “Native ads for mobile, intelligent ads, better social monetization — these are all opportunities for the adtech community. The key change over the past 2-3 years is that larger companies are willing to engage with innovative startups earlier than was previously permitted by their corporate policies and legal departments.”