Powered by big-data software company Splunk, the FASTPITCH competition will feature individual and group entrants who will be challenged to solve a wide array of real-world issues affecting the auto industry in a format similar to ABC’s “Shark Tank.”
“With this competition, we're trying to bring together the entire ecosystem in the CCE space,” says Brendan Flynn, senior director of marketing and communications for the L.A. Auto Show, in a call. “It's not just about automakers and tier-one suppliers; it's also this really innovative start-up community.”
Flynn says the Los Angeles start-up community has come into its own in recent years.
“Los Angeles has emerged as a really hot area for startups and venture capital money,” he contends. “It’s been coined ‘Silicon Beach’ and is really second only to ‘Silicon Valley’ itself for start-up money.”
By launching FASTPITCH, CCE is attempting to leverage the local tech community with bigger-name Silicon Valley partners, especially connecting with the advanced technology facilities associated with top automakers.
The format of the competition is modeled after ABC’s “Shark Tank,” which will feature eight finalists with show personality and tech entrepreneur Robert Herjavec announcing the competition winner live on the air on Nov. 19.
Flynn says the competition could become annual, but would likely feature format changes each year.
FASTPITCH competitors are very small companies and as such will not be featured exhibitors at the CCE show. However, Flynn does note a “top tech showcase” at the event will feature other new, larger startups.
The L.A. Auto Show and the Connected Car Expo will take place Nov. 22-Dec. 1 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.