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Here comes the pitch!

image Advanced Seed Stage winner at HOLT Ventures SXSW Industrial Pitch Competition L-R: Adam Bridgman, director, HOLT Ventures; Charlie Strickland, managing director, HOLT Ventures; Corinna Holt Richter, executive vice president and chief administrative office

AUSTIN – HOLT Ventures, the investment arm of heavy equipment dealer HOLT CAT, hosted its first-ever SXSW Industrial Pitch Competition Mar. 14 at the SXSW Startup Village in Austin. Three Texas companies made it to the finals, and one of them won in its category.

    Partnering with Caterpillar Ventures, Brick & Mortar Ventures, and Cottonwood Technology Fund, HOLT Ventures hosted the live pitch competition to discover and expedite technology innovation in the construction, resource, energy, and transportation industries.
    At the competition, 15 finalists from across the country – and two from Europe, specifically the UK and Netherlands – competed in three categories. The categories were classed according the maturity stage of the projects: Seed Stage, Advanced Seed Stage and Series A/B Stage.
    Each category had one finalist repre-senting Texas with Genesis Dimensions, Houston, competing in the Seed Stage; Yan Engines, Austin, competing in the Advanced Seed Stage; and Bractlet Inc., Austin, competing in the A/B Stage.
    Only one of the Texas companies emerged victorious. Yan Engines won the Advanced Seed Stage with a D-Cycle piston it is developing to increase fuel efficiency 20 percent as a retrofit or designed into existing engines.
    PermitZone, based in Raleigh, NC, won the Seed Stage, with a simple way to apply for, pay for, and receive permits online. 5D Robotics won the A/B Stage with micro positioning that can replace or enhance GPS over a large area.
    Each of the winning companies received a portion of the $50,000 cash prize as well as exclusive tours of HOLT CAT with the company’s executive team and Caterpillar’s R&D and machine testing facilities in Peoria, IL. They also received pitch presentation feedback and strategy coaching from Brick & Mortar Ventures and Cottonwood Technology. –mh


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Mary Hazlett mary@constructionnews.net