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Five Brooklyn startups announced as finalists for Make it in Brooklyn Innovation Summit Pitch Contest

September 1, 2016 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
A scene from last year’s Make it in Brooklyn Innovation Summit. Eagle file photo by Dipti Kumar
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The Downtown Brooklyn Partnership on Thursday announced the five finalists for the Make it in Brooklyn Pitch Contest, the culminating event in an all-day summit on Sept. 28 bringing together Brooklyn’s best minds. 

This year’s summit will feature some of the most prominent voices in Brooklyn real estate, business, technology, transportation and more with networking opportunities and panel discussions. And, at the end of the event, the five finalists will pitch to a panel of judges on why their startup should receive $5,000 in funding.


The five finalists, selected by entrepreneur Bre Pettis, are: 

  • Smallhold — A subscription-based commercial grow unit for your restaurants and grocery stores.

  • Brooklyn Delhi — Maker of small-batch achaar (pronounced uh-char), aka “Indian pickle,” a relish made from vegetables, fruits, chilies, spices and oil.

  • Svrround — A startup that offers cloud-based solutions to build and deploy social live 360 experiences.  Svrround offers scalable content solutions for media companies looking for interactive brand experiences, streamed performances or regular live 360 shows.

  • KaChing — A financial learning tool for kids that helps them set and meet savings goals and invest their own money into the stock market.

  • JustFix — An online record of building violations and resources to address housing issues.


“Brooklyn is a place where leading trendsetters, makers and pioneers live, work and create, and that’s why there’s no better place for companies looking to get ahead in the innovation economy,” said Vivian Liao, Downtown Brooklyn Partnership managing director of Programs and Partnerships.  “Later this month, these five homegrown startups will have a chance to pitch their ideas in front of entrepreneurial experts and secure funding to make it here in Brooklyn.” 

Previous pitch contest finalists have achieved substantial success since winning.  Last year’s winner at the inaugural summit, Happy — a mobile payment app for restaurants — was recently acquired by PaidEasy. and finalists in subsequent pitch contests, including Brooklyn startups Gloss & Glam, Mullein & Sparrow and Humblee continue to grow. 

This year’s contest judges include Steven Kuyan, managing director of Incubators and Entrepreneurship at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering; Charlie O’Donnell, of Brooklyn Bridge Ventures; Jay Reno, the founder of Happy, last year’s inaugural pitch contest winner; D.K. Smith, of the Brooklyn Innovation Center; and Joana Vicente, the executive director of the Independent Filmmaker Project. 

For more information about the Make it in Brooklyn Innovation Summit on Sept. 28, visit


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