ExtremeTechChallenge Offers Grand Prize Time with Richard Branson

 
While there are all kinds of Startup contests out there, few can offer a prize as compelling as time with Billionaire Richard Branson. That’s the tempting prize being offered by the ExtremeTechChallenge.

The ExtremeTechChallenge aims to bring out the best entrepreneurs and provide them with cash, infrastructure and world-class mentorship to launch groundbreaking ideas. Whether you’re just starting to put your ideas to paper, or have customers already using your product, participating in this contest may end up changing your life.


 
Who should apply? “We are seeking applications from relatively young start-ups who have raised less than $1 million. This is not a hard-and-fast rule, and we do encourage all start-ups to apply.”

Submissions are due by August 31, 2014.

Win a Free Ad During the Superbowl from Intuit

 
Intuit has announced a contest for small businesses where the winner will receive a free ad during the Super Bowl. Better yet, all you have to do is tell the story of your business.

We hope this is a life changer,” said Brad Smith, Intuit’s president and chief executive, explaining what Intuit hopes to achieve for a small business through this promotion. Three other small businesses — the competition’s finalists — also will have commercials professionally produced and receive national and regional television ad exposure.

Read the Full Story and be sure to enter your story by September 22, 2013.

How Optensity Helps Analysts Make Sense of Big Data

Over at CNN Money, By JP Mangalindan writes that while many organizations continue to struggle to make sense of Big Data, a new Startup called Optensity has built a system that assists decision-making without worrying about where the data is located, how it’s formatted, and how it’s changing.

One thing popping up is called the “Internet of Things,” said Optensity Founder and CEO Pamela Arya. “That’s an example where we think our tool could be really useful in the future. Because the Internet of Things is basically a world of sensors, where you would compute on the sensor as the data is throwing off the sensor to find out interesting things. Hey, nobody’s been in the house for a while, but the air conditioner is still running. That kind of thing. So you needs two sensors there: a physical sensor. No one’s moving around. Another sensor saying the air conditioning’s running. So those kinds of problems are where we see the future of where data is going.”

Next week, Optensity will compete at this year’s Startup Idol competition during Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference in Colorado. Read the Full Story.

Portland Entreprenuers Pitch Ironstone

In this video, entrepreneurs compete for funds through Starve Ups, where they made 30-second pitches and 30-minute presentations to billionaire investor Bill Hambrecht and his Ironstone Group Venture Capital.

The technology, the opportunities they’re taking with the internet space and the ability to develop sound business models around their business, very impressive,” said Hambrecht.

Hambrecht and the Ironstone fund use algorithms from local company Growth Science to predict the success or failure of Startup companies.

Read the Full Story or check out our inside-Startups podcast with Thomas Thurston from Growth Science.

Finalists Announced for Seattle and Portland Entrepreneur of the Year

Ernst & Young LLP today announced the finalists for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2013 Award in the Pacific Northwest. The awards program recognizes high-growth entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. These finalists were selected by a panel of independent judges. Award winners will be revealed at a special gala event on June 7, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue.

The finalists are:

  • Brandon Dawson, Audigy Group, LLC, Vancouver, Washington
  • Craig Bramscher, Brammo, Inc., Ashland, Oregon
  • Jim Weber, Brooks Sports, Inc., Bothell, Washington
  • Gary Fish, Deschutes Brewery, Bend, Oregon
  • Chris Barrow, EagleView Technologies, Bothell, Washington
  • Steve Larson, Eid Passport, Hillsboro, Oregon
  • Sam Blackman, Elemental Technologies, Portland, Oregon
  • Dara Khosrowshahi, Expedia, Inc., Bellevue, Washington
  • Mark Mason, HomeStreet, Inc., Seattle, Washington
  • Greg Pierson, iovation, Portland, Oregon
  • Tom Alberg, Paul Goodrich, Gerald Grinstein, William Ruckelshaus, Madrona Venture Group, Seattle, Washington
  • Kyle Stavig, Myers Container, Portland, Oregon
  • Beau Fessenden, Natural Molecular Testing Corp., Renton, Washington
  • Greg Seibly, Sterling Bank, Spokane, Washington
  • Kurt Dammeier, Sugar Mountain, Seattle, Washington
  • Kevin Klock, TalkingRain, Preston, Washington
  • Darryl Rawlings, Trupanion, Seattle, Washington
  • Spencer Rascoff, Zillow, Inc., Seattle, Washington

Collectively, these finalists grew their company’s employment by 39% and their revenues by 44% between 2010 and 2012. Now in its 27th year, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Program has expanded globally to recognize company builders in over 140 cities and in more than 50 countries throughout the world.

Read the Full Story.

Nvidia’s Emerging Companies Summit Coming to San Jose March 20

This week Nvidia announced that 16 Startups using the massive computing power of GPU technology will participate in the Emerging Companies Summit. The event takes place March 20 in San Jose, California.

A highlight of the GPU Technology Conference (GTC), ECS will feature 16 companies from around the world. This year’s conference and summit have expanded to include companies focused on mobile computing, game development and cloud-based technologies. Also participating are companies advancing areas as diverse as visual search, financial services and medical diagnostics. Five top startups will be recognized for their innovation in a competition with more than $75,000 in prizes.

Read the Full Story.

Startup PDX: Challenge Offers Seed Money and a Home for Your Startup

Do you need help getting your Startup off the ground? Here in Portland, Produce Row is hosting Startup PDX:Challenge, a new initiative designed to connect startups to all our community has to offer. Located in Portland’s Central Eastside Industrial District, Produce Row is a growing network of businesses thriving on entrepreneurial spirit. Produce Row seeks to support and promote entrepreneurial and creative businesses through a common identity, collaboration, and with collective resources.

The Startup PDX:Challenge is Portland’s next step in the creation of community and value for startups. The Challenge will offer access to accelerator programs and other organizations in unique ways. The Challenge winners will co-locate in Portland’s Produce Row, a neighborhood where the entrepreneurial and DIY spirit thrives. The startups who win the Challenge will get the nuts and bolts of what they need in a package valued at $40,000 per company

Applications are due April 4, 2013.