#Capitalizing with the Sacramento Kings

Sara Howard, Business Development Manager

Two weeks ago, Tony and I were invited to pitch. This wasn’t any ordinary pitch, however. This was part of the Sacramento Kings Capitalize competition, in partnership with the Sacramento Urban Technology Lab (SUTL). We were joined by 15 other incredible startups from the greater Sacramento area. These 15 startups, and Cognivive, were the top 16 semi-finalists, out of 75 initial applicants. We pitched to seven judges in the Kings’ VIP Lounge at the Golden 1 Center, a truly unique experience. Among the judges, John Rinehart, President of the Sacramento Kings, Kwame Anku, Founding Principal of Black Angel Tech Fund, and Louis Stewart, Chief Innovation Officer of the City of Sacramento.

 
 

We were the last startup to pitch that evening. I was honored to share my dad’s stroke story with the panel of judges to clearly illustrate a very real gap in treatment. Given the steep competition, we were thrilled to hear “Cognivive” called as a finalist (final four)!

 
 

Within three days, we were back for a 30 second pitch. This time, a video pitch! Thanks to Haney Business Ventures, it came out great. This video pitch is on the Sacramento Kings website and social media channels now, being put to a fan vote. The video will also premiere at the Sacramento Kings game versus the Atlanta Hawks, “Tech Night” on March 22nd. Tony and I will be in attendance.

 
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Now, we need your help to win the fan vote! Your vote will help us take one step closer toward improving outcomes for millions of patients. You can vote by tweeting any of the following once daily through March 22nd:

I am voting for @Cognivive in the @SacramentoKings #Capitalize2018 competition!

.@Cognivive has my vote for the @SacramentoKings #Capitalize2018 competition.

We appreciate your support!

Cognivive Goes to DC

Ted Aronson, Chief Creative Officer

At Cognivive, we're very proud to be supported by the University of California, Davis. One of the many benefits of that support is that we occasionally get invited to represent the university at events like the APLU's Innovation and Entrepreneurship Showcase. The APLU, or Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, is an organization that advocates for America's public universities and land-grant institutions to policy makers in Washington DC. Their annual meeting draws together administrators from hundreds of universities from across the country. This year, the meeting also included a nod to the many researchers-turned-entrepreneurs that come from these institutions. The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Showcase was a two day event that highlighted 22 start-ups backed by APLU member universities.

 
 Ted sets up the booth

Ted sets up the booth

 

The first evening's event was a cocktail hour for APLU members. All 22 start-ups had tables and posters to help tell attendees about their companies. Not to be outdone, Cognivive showed up with a laptop and an Oculus Rift, ready to run our first public demo! We were barely set up before visitors started asking us who we were and what we were making.

 
 UC Davis Vice Chancellor Dushyant Pathak tries his hand at our latest prototype

UC Davis Vice Chancellor Dushyant Pathak tries his hand at our latest prototype

 

The excitement really got going when some of them asked to try the demo. We had brought with us a version of our "Ball Toss Prototype". Players have to catch and throw balls (and occasionally farm animals) as they fly across the room. Throwing in the right direction earns you points and unlocks additional zaniness.

 
 Easily one of the best moments of the night

Easily one of the best moments of the night

 

Our prototype was a huge hit. We had people playing all evening, some for over 20 minutes! Showing off a prototype is always a terrifying and exciting experience, but this was the most fun we've had doing it ever. We got plenty of great feedback to take back to the office and make improvements, too.

 
 Tony and Dushyant outside the Rayburn Building

Tony and Dushyant outside the Rayburn Building

 

The highlight of the weekend was the second night's event: a showcase at the Rayburn House Office Building. The showcase was open to APLU members, but also to members of Congress and their staff. Again we brought our laptop and Rift and set up to show off our prototype digital therapy. We had a blast demonstrating it to House staffers from across the country.

 
 The Cognivive team and UCD Vice Chancellor Cameron Carter at the Rayburn House event

The Cognivive team and UCD Vice Chancellor Cameron Carter at the Rayburn House event

 

Overall, the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Showcase was an incredible experience to show and tell the world about our digital therapies. We were thrilled to meet so many people who were excited about what we're making. We were especially excited to watch them play it too! Thanks, again, to UC Davis and the APLU for inviting us to be there.