MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. -- The Westchester County Association has named Mount Vernon's Databean as the winner of the "Pitch to the Pros" contest.
WCA, through its Blueprint for Westchester economic development initiative, announced that the clinical research organization was the winner as part of the two-day conference Health Tech ’14: Fueling Innovation in Westchester. Databean will receive a $10,000 cash grant, plus a spot in the WCA’s Blueprint Accelerator Network, through which it will receive one year of rent-free private office space, complimentary professional services, advertising in local media and access to financing and mentoring in Westchester County, according to a press release.
As a first runner-up, Amrita Health Foods, a producer of plant-based nutrition bars, also will join the Accelerator Network.
“The relationship-building made possible by this event is of tremendous importance," said Nuala Ronan, managing partner of Databean. “I haven’t seen this kind of energy, this excitement, this vibe (at this conference) since I was in Palo Alto 10 years ago. Winning the Accelerate Westchester pitch competition is significant for Databean, but the real value is the exposure to the healthcare organizations, legal and financial firms, and biotech companies in the region.”
The afternoon included presentations from 10 start ups — six finalists vying for the top prize, and four runners-up that had a chance to present their “elevator pitch” — before a crowd of 300-plus investors, venture capitalists, experts in start-up law and crowd-funding, real estate and business leaders, and young professionals, according to the release.
“We chose Databean because they have reached a point in their business that is scalable,” said John Ritacco, president and chief executive officer of CMS Bank. “The Blueprint Accelerator wants to attract new businesses in health tech, biotech, medtech, and other areas of innovation. There were many viable companies here, but Databean is positioned to grow to a level that benefits Westchester.”