Sacremento Kings Capitalize Powered By Moneta Ventures Prepares For Second Year
While NBA’s Dallas Maverick’s owner, Mark Cuban, is the most well known startup investor in the NBA, it’s the Sacramento Kings that started the first NBA team sponsored startup pitch contest. The contest started last year and combed through some of the most innovative startups within 75 miles of the Sacramento Kings home, Golden One Center.
The finalists in last year’s competition have had great success, some have inked partnerships with the team. California Safe Soil is a finalist from last year’s contest, they now provide their innovative waste solution at the King’s new home. They were also able to expand to an 80,000 square foot facility to meet the needs of their growing clientele.
The winner in last year’s contest was Quick Legal, an on demand legal advice platform. They were selected winner by fans through a social media vote. They took home a $10,000 grand prize to help grow their startup. The runners up, Barobo, Vikita technologies, and California Safe Soil received investments of $5,000 each from King’s chairman Vivek Ranadive.
“The inaugural Capitalize contest highlighted the best and brightest innovators that come right from our community who are ready to compete on a global stage,” said Kings President Chris Granger. “We’re excited to see what projects rise during this year’s competition and grow Sacramento’s emerging innovation economy. It’s a unique way for us to use our robust background in tech to support our community’s entrepreneurs.”
Startups interested in participating in the contest must be based within 75 miles of Sacramento, and can apply here.
Capitalize is a two-round tournament where 16 local innovators will compete to be selected for a cash prize and lunch with an owner of the Sacramento Kings. Sixteen semi-finalists will be selected to participate in a one-day pitchfest, where they will have an opportunity to impress a panel of judges consisting of local investors and technology executives. These judges will select the top four companies to move on to the finals.
The four finalists will compete for the fan vote on Twitter from March 15 through March 22, when they will join the join the Kings and Moneta Ventures at Golden 1 Center for Tech Night on March 22. The winner will be announced and awarded a grand prize package.
The Sacramento Kings are also the first team to feature a tech night. In addition to the finals of the Capatilize contest, last year they featured driverless shuttles in the parking lot to bring fans from their cars to the stadium. They also showed off robots and other technological advancements they hope to implement at the stadium and with the team.
This year’s tech night the King’s take on the Milwaukee Bucks.
Find out more information on Capitalize here.