Next week, representatives of a downtown Wilmington startup will head for Silicon Valley to make their case before a sophisticated audience.
KWIPPED, a business-to-business equipment rental and leasing online marketplace launched in 2015, was invited to participate in the competition, to be held on the main stage of the Silicon Valley Open Doors Top International Startup Investment Conference (SVOD) taking place next Wednesday and Thursday.
SVOD received more than 400 applications from early-stage companies around the world and extended invitations to 39 of them, according to a news release from KWIPPED. Seed-stage, series A and pre-series B companies were eligible to apply. KWIPPED has raised about $1 million in seed capital from angel and venture capital investors, the release stated.
KWIPPED's web platform enables businesses, professionals and other organizations to rent and lease a wide range of specialized equipment from a network of equipment suppliers. According to officials, the company currently offers equipment in more than 900 categories, from medical to restaurant to land surveying. Its customer base currently consists of about 7,000 businesses and more than 180 research universities.
The pitch competition will allow the Wilmington company to promote its concept and offerings to an ideal audience, the release stated.
“Silicon Valley is the Mecca of tech startups and there will be hundreds of angel investors and VCs attending, including some very well-known firms,” KWIPPED founder and CEO Robert Preville said in the release. “Being selected to spotlight our business on stage in front of them is a huge opportunity, and we're confident they're going to see incredible value and potential in what we're doing as a company.”
Preville owns the Greater Wilmington Business Journal with publisher Rob Kaiser. Preville and Kaiser are part owners of KWIPPED.