A Sacramento-area startup that helps consumers buy electric vehicles took top honors at Pitch Elk Grove, the city’s first-ever startup business pitch competition.
Folsom-based EV Life squared off against seven other Sacramento-area startup companies Thursday at Elk Grove’s District 56, winning the competition’s $ 10,000 first prize.
EV Life, with its tagline: ‘We make it absurdly easy to buy an electric car, ”finds applicable subsidies from across the country then offers climate loans to buyers to offset the often high upfront costs of electric vehicles.
“We take this win as a signal that awareness around the market opportunity to accelerate EV adoption is growing,” co-founder and co-chief executive officer Kevin Favro said after receiving the award.
The contest, co-presented by Startup Elk Grove, Elk Grove’s startup incentive program, and local startup accelerator StartupSac, was a showcase of emerging local entrepreneurs and homegrown technologies. The city program offers grants to Elk Grove startups at their launch. More than 100 people including entrepreneurs and investors attended the evening event.
Elk Grove Pitch also spotlighted a city seeking to position itself as a tech destination in the Sacramento region.
“We have the audacity to think we can build a tech-based economy in the sleepy suburbs,” Darrell Doan, Elk Grove Economic Development Director, said before the event. “We’re looking for a signature event to grow our brand. Sacramento is emerging as a hub of economic activity. We have a great group of companies that highlight the diversity and breadth of talent in this region. “
Entries combined the practical and the personal in fields such as agriculture, medical tech, human resources, online sports gaming and automotive.
Second-place startup, online reputation management software firm, EyeRate, offers a customer communications platform geared to the service sector. The EyeRate app gives customers the ability to rate, review and tip employees.
The Elk Grove startup, working out of a garage roughly two years ago, reached a milestone last summer by picking up $ 1.7 million in seed money to help prepare for its first significant round of funding.
Audience award winner Mediminder of Davis is a smartphone epinephrine monitor and reminder that “ensures life-saving medications are never left behind.” Mediminder founder and CEO Liz Tang developed the technology in response to her son’s bout with life-threatening food allergies.
“They’re representative of the region,” said Luis Aguilar, a city of Elk Grove economic development specialist. “Ag tech, science, software. If we’re looking at economic recovery, looking toward the future, these innovative companies are what’s going to carry us forward. “