Smart Convos was privileged to present at this years Startup Runway! Hosted by the amazing team at Valor Ventures and The Gathering Spot. The pitch contest included 10 finalists with two $10K grand prizes (one awarded by judges, the other by community vote).

The mission of the Startup Runway Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit, is introducing top under-represented founders to professional investors. In the last 36 months, their Finalists have raised over $30 million and share that Startup Runway helped tilt their trajectory. It definitely did for us and we were so lucky to be chosen out of the roughly 400 applicants!

Together, we turn the funding gap into an on-ramp at Startup Runway. – Lisa Calhoun, Valor Ventures

They also provided the contestants a mock board meeting focused on helping solve an existing problem the presenting company is facing. We really enjoyed hearing insights from our mock panel, and the solution they provided to our proposed problem was well received! Our mock board guests were very interested in our technology and impressed with what we’ve accomplished in the past year.

Danielle Major, our CEO took the stage a little over halfway through the event to pitch Smart Convos. She talked about how display ad engagement was at an all time low and that people overall have grown tired of the rigmarole online ads bring to a fun online experience. The solution she of course presented was conversational display ads, or convoads. In other words, AI chatbot powered display ad units that can talk about their products or services they’re selling in real time, thus allowing smart conversations between a brand and their audience.

After the pitches, the prizes were awarded to (2) companies;  ReSuture, a New Orleans-based company that makes 3-D printed models of human tissue for doctors to practice surgery. and the Community award winner was is Mini City, an Atlanta-based company that uses technology to help homeless people obtain important documents. It was a great event, we connected with so many wonderful people and heard some really amazing feedback from the audience members who our technology really hit home with.

Overall, we didn’t “win” the Runway, but we sure as hell rocked it!  Check out the photo gallery below to see for yourself.