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We gathered over 500 people at last night's Founder Showcase event to see a great pitch competition, and the ten companies that pitched did not dissapoint. The Grand Prize went to Neo, an online lender that taps financial and social data to better evaluate creditworthiness and provide more affordable car loans. Coming in an extremely close second place (they lost by one vote) was I-DISPO, the largest community for sharing and booking appointments online.

While current car loans rely solely on credit scores, Neo uses a more comprehensive approach to evaluate loan affordability by tapping into financial and social data. This enables better rates and significant savings for our borrowers over traditional loan sources. They are currently funding auto loans as part of their private beta loan program.

Watch the video of Neo's winning pitch on TechCrunch here

Neo is also a Graduate of the Silicon Valley Founder Institute - which is accepting applications for the Winter 2011 Semester now. Free applications are avaliable before November 20th - click here to apply today

The other finalists who pitched on stage included Be Scrappy, ClientMagnet, Explorence, Gushcloud, Pllop, Say Mmm, Takeoff, and TouchBase

A special thanks goes out to our amazing judging panel and roster of partners who helped on the event, including; 

  • Rebecca Lynn, Partner at Morgenthaler Ventures: Rebecca joined Morgenthaler’s Menlo Park office in 2007. She focuses on early-stage investments in consumer Internet verticals including finanical services, health IT, advertising and education. She serves on the boards of Lending Club, Practice Fusion, Socrata, and Pageonce.
  • Alex Gurevich, Principal at Javelin Venture Partners: Prior to joining Javelin, Alex was a Principal at DFJ Aurora, one of the first Western venture funds focused on high tech investments in Russia and Eastern Europe. Prior to that, Alex was the first employee and Director of Business Development at ooma, and also co-founded Say-Hey-Hey.com, one of the web’s first free video dating sites.
  • Manu Kumar, Founder & Chief Firestarter at K9 Ventures: Manu Kumar is an entrepreneur turned investor. He is the founder and Chief Firestarter at K9 Ventures, a technology-focused microVC fund based in Palo Alto. Manu was the founder of SneakerLabs (acquired by Octane/E.piphany), iMeet (merged with Netspoke, acquired by Premiere Conferencing), CardMunch (acquired by LinkedIn), and a founding advisor to Lytro.
  • Elance - Elance, the world’s leading platform for online employment, helps startups hire and manage in the cloud.
  • SVB Accelerator - SVB has been at the forefront of the tech and life sciences industry since 1983, helping entrepreneurs take their ideas to the next stage.
  • Tropo - Tropo makes it easy to build and deploy any cloud communications app via voice, SMS/Text messaging, IM, Skype or Twitter using a simple Web API.
  • .CO - With millions of web addresses to choose from, what dream will you make a reality when you register a .CO?
  • JetJaw - JetJaw is the easiest way for you to engage customers - at the moment of their experience.
  • GamerFood - Delicious energy snacks for gamers, engineered to crush hunger, taste great, boost energy, and improve focus and reaction time.

We'll be releasing videos soon, so stay tuned. 

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