San Diego Venture Group Announces ecoATM as Winner of the Tenth Annual 'Pitchfest'

Dec 07, 2009, 15:53 ET from San Diego Venture Group

Local San Diego start-up ecoATM takes the top prize

SAN DIEGO, Dec. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The San Diego Venture Group (SDVG), an association supporting San Diego's entrepreneurial and venture capital community, today announced the winner of the Tenth Annual PitchFest Business Plan Competition. Three finalist companies made their pitches to a panel of VC judges and a general audience of 270 attendees at the competition on Thursday, December 3, 2009 at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla.

The three finalist companies were:

  • ecoATM - Self-service kiosks for used electronic device buy-backs
  • ElliptiGO Inc. - The first outdoor elliptical bicycle
  • PixelFish, Inc. - Video advertising for small- to medium-sized businesses

The competition was open to any Southern California-based company that had raised less than $2 million in institutional venture capital. A screening committee of local business advisers and venture capitalists reviewed each of the submitted applications and narrowed the field to 10 semifinalists. Those 10 semifinalists presented their pitch to a panel of VC judges in a closed session in November, and the judges chose the three finalist companies, which advanced to the final event. After each finalist company gave a live 10-minute pitch at the December 3 dinner program, the audience voted by ballot for the company with the greatest chance of success. Based on the ballot results, the SDVG presented the winner's check of $20,000 to ecoATM.

"ecoATM is thrilled to have been voted the winner of PitchFest '09, particularly with the high level of competition we faced," said Mark Bowles, Chief Marketing Officer of ecoATM, who gave the winning pitch on behalf of the company. "The $20k prize will certainly be put to good use, but winning this event also gives ecoATM instant credibility when approaching potential investors as we move to raise our first round."

About ecoATM

ecoATM's eCycling Stations automate the trade-in and buy-back process for mobile phones and other used consumer electronics by electronically and visually inspecting devices, administering promotions, and providing real-time incentives. By finally making the resell/recycle process convenient and profitable for all stakeholders (Consumers, OEMs, and Retailers), ecoATM will dramatically increase participation in environmentally responsible recycling and the flow of used goods into secondary markets that need them. For more information, visit

About the San Diego Venture Group

Founded in 1986, the SDVG is a non-profit organization which provides a networking forum for entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and advisors in an informal atmosphere where human expertise can foster new business ventures. The SDVG comprises professionals with bright ideas to share and the practical skills required to implement these ideas. For more information, visit

SOURCE San Diego Venture Group