By it’s very name, Demo Day is an event organized by an incubator or in our case the entire USC startup ecosystem, where the founders demonstrate their venture to a room full of investors to secure capital.
Similar to past years, Demo Day is a culmination for the cream of the crop of USC’s startup talent. It represents companies in every stage of the business; from the ideation stage to the revenue generation stage. There were a bunch of companies that had an opportunity to pitch their game-changing startup to investors.
It’s importance cannot be overstated. The goal of Demo Day is to showcase what USC’s entrepreneurs have achieved in a year, encourage others to brainstorm the next big thing, and create a more vibrant startup community on campus.
Not only is it represent a culmination the many nights, grit, determination of a single pool of talent for a singular event, but it allows them to break barriers and share their story with non-founders, some for the first time.
A record-breaking 58 companies made presentations and recorded the 2020 Demo Day as an important milestone for the business. The year’s roster included everything from a Virtual Reality shopping website to an online psychological service provider and a sustainable party cup retailer.
The day began with the usual networking with the USC community meeting and greeting with startups of all shapes and sizes. Through these sessions, members of the community get a broader insight on various industries and platforms, get inspired to solve their own business problems and validate new ideas.
While this event is all about the founders, Troy Labs and the Greif Center reached out to bring in an amazing keynote speaker: Tim Ellis, the founder and CEO of Relativity, a private manufacturing company that works to develop the future of 3D printing in the aerospace industry.
The celebration of Trojan entrepreneurship culminated with a pitch competition where founders were given the opportunity to present to the audience and demonstrate why they were the best venture in the 2020 showcase. This year the Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Marshall School of Business sponsored 22 prizes for this year’s startup up exhibitors. We always marvel at the generosity of our alumni and sponsors by providing life-changing experiences for our early-stage ventures.
As of today, many startups have taken steps to begin working with customers and test their ideas out in the real world. By pushing startup teams, Demo Day is able to equip participants with entrepreneurial skills to take outside the classrooms of USC.
All in all, Demo Day was founded to create a launchpad for companies to connect with a large and engaged audience and showcase the work that they had built. It was created to encourage the ambitious, embolden the courageous, inspire the creative to create jobs, boost the local economy and highlight the success of USC’s innovation culture. If you think you have the next big idea or want to develop a startup, book your first venture meeting with the Blackstone LaunchPad to begin your own startup journey.