Join the conversation:

A young hispanic wins competition for entrepreneurs in Google

A young hispanic wins competition for entrepreneurs in Google

Posted by Juan Gavasa on April 03, 2015

It's a big day for Mati Energy. The health drink startup just beat an all-star team of 11 hot tech firms to emerge as the grand winner at Google Demo Day.

What's more, founder Tatiana Birgisson, 25, also scored a $100,000 personal investment from AOL co-founder Steve Case.

Case was one of three judges at event, along with Google Ventures' Blake Byers and Ann Winblad, co-founder of Hummer Winblad Venture Partners.

Birgisson was especially nervous ahead of her presentation.

"My startup was the only non-tech company presenting today. I didn't know what that would mean for me," she said.

In fact, Mati is the only non-tech company that's ever presented at Google Demo Day -- a high-profile event in its second year. It brings together a select group of startups to pitch to more than 100 investors at Google's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.

Durham's own Birgisson presented her product, Mati Energy, before the Silicon Valley investors gathered in front of the stage. It's an energy drink with more caffeine than a Red Bull, brewed initially in her Duke University dorm room, she said. In 2013, each batch was 20 gallons. In 2014, 300 gallons. And in 2015, each batch is 18,000 gallons, due to growing partnerships with retailers like Whole Foods, Kroger and Costco.

By the end of the presentation, Case himself was sipping the product. But Birgisson didn't just come to place cans of Mati under the judge's seats. She came for the title. After all, a Durham firm, Windsor CIrcle, won last year.

Still, when the judges called her name, she looked surprised. "Literally, we did drink the Kool-Aid," laughed judge Ann Winblad, from Hummer Winblad Venture Partners.

Tatiana Birgisson at Triangle Brewing, where Mati is made in Durham.What do you think?What do you think? Photo by Exit Event

Last year, startups raised $1 million on the spot at Demo Day, as Case decided to invest $100,000 in each presenting company – including Durham’s Windsor Circle and Automated Insights.

This year, however, Case just decided to invest in the four women presenters, Birgisson included. And Birgisson, in particular, he says, had the opportunity to disrupt an entire industry.

Link To Full Article: 

Facebook comments



Monthly newsletter featuring articles hand picked by our country managers from the best content across PanamericanWorld.



Monthly newsletter featuring articles hand picked by our country managers from the best content across the Caribbean Region on PanamericanWorld.

PANAMERICANWORLD COUNTRIES