Neighbor.ly CEO and co-founder Jase Wilson with Derrick Staten of Global Tech Symposium after winning the event’s pitch competition.
Neighbor.ly is making good use of its temporary migration west. In late January, the KC-based civic startup joined the Tumml accelerator in San Francisco—wrapping up May 6. A couple weeks ago, CEO Jase Wilson jumped last-minute into Global Innovator Competition, a pitch contest at the Global Technology Symposium.
He called it a gut decision to apply two hours before the deadline. Turns out it was the right call, as he came away the winner and had opportunities to talk with a group that included Silicon Valley heavyweight investors and others like Ron Conway, Tim Draper, Steve Jurvetson and Dave McClure. After an initial round, he made it to a final of nine, and on a crowd vote, beat out teams from six countries and the U.S.
“There were mainly investors and fellow entrepreneurs in the room so it was a huge honor to have the idea validated, especially as we are gearing up to raise our first big equity round,” Wilson told Silicon Prairie News.
He said he was able to have substantial talks with several investors as a result, but that another big takeaway was what Kansas City might be able to do better.
“The conference was (about) the next big thing and ‘impossible’ ideas—one panel was about disrupting space travel for example,” he said. “There were folks talking about harvesting moon minerals. Meeting these amazing people and hearing the way they approach their dreams reminds me that we could be a bit more supportive of risk and ambition in KC. We should challenge the ‘Show Me State’ mindset if we want to level up as an ecosystem.”
Credits: Photo courtesy Wilson.