We received email from ETC alum Anthony Palma asking us to post this story
SUNNYVALE, Calif. – There are 15 startups at the Plug and Play Tech Center.
Five have come from Carnegie Mellon.
There’s Kermdinger, a foursome of creating humorous video games to be picked up by independent distributors. Then there’s GlobaTrek, which helps small businesses manage their global distribution networks. Sriram Subramanian got his master’s in information networking eight years ago before founding mobile retailing solution Fermyon.
So why does this startup camp in Silicon Valley have such a unique Pittsburgh flavor?
“You wouldn’t realize it, but they do a good job of promoting entrepreneurship without forcing it down your throat,” said Alen Knapic, the founder of Bracketz and another CMU alumnus at Plus and Play.
The 15 tech companies – founded almost entirely by students from over 10 universities such as Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pisa – are immersed in the three-month program, beginning this week. The startups will be introduced to investment and entrepreneurial mentors, learn to refine their business presentations and network with each other for collaborative opportunities.
Companies receive $25,000 apiece to bring their concepts from the whiteboard to the market and Plug and Play’s Sept. 13 Startup Expo.
“I’m really liking it so far,” Subramanian said. “The biggest factor is just the energy, and just having everybody together just adds that additional oomph.”
Former Plug and Play companies include the dating website Zoosk, online video sharing company TwitVid (now known as Telly), peer-to-peer lending network Lending Club, consumer debt and credit management firm Credit Sesame, and more than 100 others.
“We believe that Startup Camp companies have the dedication, the eagerness and the experience to make a difference,” said Plug and Play Vice President of Investing Alireza Masrour. “We are here to help them go that extra mile.
“And this is a really fun group.”
Weekly mentors will include Lou Montulli, a founding engineer of Netscape; Ernestine Fu, a Stanford student and one of the youngest investors in Silicon Valley; and 30 other angel investors, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs. Startups will also network with investors to promote funding opportunities.
Congratulations to the Kermdinger Studio's team!