Vator Splash is Vator's premier startup event and competition, which has been held in Oakland, Los Angeles, London and New York since 2010. Splash Oakland is unique in that it is a two-day conference, including a workshop day for entrepreneurs to learn how to start and build a company, for investors to sharpen their game and some special track sessions dedicated to women in tech and closing the diversity gap.
Co-founder & CEO, Thumbtack
Co-Founder, TechStyle Fashion Group
Mayor, City of Oakland
Investment Partner, Khosla Ventures
Co-Founder, Kapor Center
Manager - Global Diversity and Talent Inclusion, Google
Founder & CEO, Vator
Partner, ScaleVenture Partners
Managing Director, Javelin Venture Partners
Managing Partner, Karlin Ventures
Founder, Freestyle Capital
Managing Director, Shasta Ventures
General Partner, Structure Capital
Venture Partner, Bowery Capital
General Partner, Canaan Partners
VC, Arena Ventures
Founding Managing Director,
Anchor and editor, Bloomberg
General Partner, Haystack
Managing Partner, Ludlow Ventures
Founder & Managing Partner, Base Ventures
Co-Founder & CMO, Immunity Project
Staff Writer, Fast Company
Wendel Rosen Black & Dean LLP
Attorney, Wendel Rosen Black & Dean LLP
General Manager, Huge Inc.
Founder, Black Girls CODE
National Tax Leader - Emerging Growth Practice, KPMG
Co-Founder, Mad Dogs and Englishmen
Co-Founder, Uptima Business Bootcamp
Principal, Kapor Capital
Vice President of Business Development, Haven
Design Director, Senior Associate, Gensler
Founder & Pastor, Christ Church
Senior Diversity Manager, Pandora
National Co-Leader, KPMG Venture Practice
Business Development Manager, The Entrust Group
Principal, SoftTech VC
CEO, The Port Workspaces
Economic Development, City of Oakland
Managing Director, Vator Investment Club
Founder & CEO, Indiegogo.com
Founder & Managing Director, Maven Ventures
Principal, Avison Young
Managing Director, Better Ventures
Founder & CEO, EVB
Founder & Executive Director, Zoo Labs
Executive Producer, Vator
Founder & Managing Partner, Tekton Ventures
Managing Director, Vator Investment Club
Vice President of Corporate Development, Opera Software
Managing Director, IDG Ventures
8:30am,,9:25am,, Registration, Caffeine! Time to say Hello!
10:10am,,10:30am,, Session 2: Unicorns & Super-Sized A rounds, Do you need these to run and build a successful startup? ,, Moderator: Alastair Goldfisher (VCJ and peHUB) - Panelists: Ben Ling (Khosla Ventures), Tod Francis (Shasta Ventures), Emily Melton (Partner, DFJ)
10:30am,,10:40am,, Break(10 min) - See Startup Showcase Alley,,
10:40am,,11:20am,, Session 3: Global Splash Competition Presentations - First 4 Finalists ,, Emcee: Naveen Jain (CMO & Co-Founder, Immunity Project and Managing Partner, Vator Investment Club); Judges: Erik Moore (Base Ventures), Paige Craig (Angel Investor), Maha Ibrahim (Canaan Partners), Noah Doyle (Javelin Venture Partners)
Session 4: Meet the Active Angels - How do you get them to listen and can they be instrumental in landing your Series A?,, Moderator: Semil Shah (General Partner, Haystack); Panelists: Jonathon Triest (Ludlow Ventures), Tikhon Bernstam (Angel investor), Renee DiResta (Vice President of Business Development, Haven)
11:50am,,12:30pm,, Session 5: Global Splash Competition Presentations - Second 4 Finalists,, Emcee: Naveen Jain (CMO & Co-Founder, Immunity Project and Managing Partner, Vator Investment Club); Judges: Mike Walsh (Structure Capital), Tianxiang Zhuo (Karlin Ventures), Dave Samuel (Freestyle VC), Adam Smith (Bowery Capital)
12:30pm,,1:45pm,, Break-Lunch (1 hr 15 mins) - Hosted by Parelius, (Judges' deliberate),,
2:15pm,,2:35pm,, Session 7: Accelerator Nation - How Accelerators are Evolving and Changing the Local Ecosystem ,, Moderator: Marisa Raya (Economic Development, City of Oakland); Panelists: Vinitha Watson (Executive Director, Zoo Labs), Rani Croager (Founder, Uptima Bootcamp), Emily Kirsch (CEO, Co-Founder, SfunCube, Jose Lopez (Co-founder, DevLabs)
2:35pm,,2:50pm,, Break (15 mins),,
2:50pm,,3:50pm,, Session 8: When will Tech Look Like America? - The US has a racially and ethnically diverse population and there are more women than men. Yet the tech world doesn't mirror this. Hear and participate in a thoughtful discussion from leaders in the tech industry who are making inroads into achieving diversity - women, minorities - in tech startups, boardrooms, and venture firms.,, Moderator: Evie Nagy (Staff Writer, Fast Company) Panelists: Freada Kapor Klein (Co-Founder, Kapor Center), Libby Schaaf (Mayor, City of Oakland), Kimberly Bryant (Founder, Black Girls Code), Nilka Thomas (Manager - Global Diversity and Talent Inclusion, Google), Lisa Lee (Senior Diversity Manager, Pandora)
Happy Hour After Party on the Kaiser Roof Garden Artisan food, beer, wine, great networking and a lake view sunset. (Open to registered Splash attendees.)
Track 1 - Lessons for Entrepreneurs
Session 2: Uncommon ideas for the common good: Explore how your uncommon idea serves the common good; An entrepreneur imagines, creates, and innovates around an extraordinary idea. Learn how that idea can have a social impact from the start.,, Bart Garrett (Founder, Pastor, Christ Church)
2:40pm,,3:00pm,,Break (20 minutes)
Session 4: What great entrepreneurs have in common,, Ariel Poler (Angel Investor)
Track 2 - Investing Insights: Whether you are a venture partner, angel investor or thinking about becoming one, you'll walk away with keen insight and solid information provided by some of the best in the business
Session 1: Lessons learned at a growing VC firm - The seed investment landscape has become extremly competitive over the last few years. How do you differentitate yourself from the pack and what pitfalls should you avoid? ,,Stephanie Palmeri (Investor, SoftTech VC)
Session 2: Impact investing - How big returns can come from double bottom-line investing and how you can have the most impact,, Brian Dixon (Principal, Kapor Capital), Wes Selke (Co-founder, Better Ventures)
Session 4: How to invest small chunks into syndicates,,Gil Penchina (Super Angel)
Track 3 - Startup Toolkit - Building blocks for success,,
2 pm,,2:40pm ,, Session 2: Workspace Matters - Next to funding your business, managing the cost of real estate and locating your team in the right space is the biggest hurdle. Learn how creative workspaces and smart thinking about where to grow your business will bottomline.,, Joel Pool (CEO, Port Workspaces), Anthony Shell (VP, Avison Young); Kelly Dubisar (Senior Associate, Gensler), Karen Wertman (Executive Producer, Vator)
2:40pm,,3:00pm ,,Break (20 min),,
3:05pm,,3:45pm,, Session 3: By the Numbers - Fundraising, accounting and the path to profitability. How to make sure your financial house is in order from the start.,,Conor Moore (National Co-Leader, KPMG Venture Practice); Francois Chadwick (National Tax Leader, Emerging Growth Practice, KPMG)
Session 4: Creatives conquering Oakland - what the hottest agencies here can teach you about making brave creative choices for your own business.,,Daniel Stein (Founder & CEO, Evolution Bureau); Nick Cohen (Founding Partner, Mad Dogs and Englishmen); Brock Boddie (General Manager, Huge Inc.), Karen Wertman (Executive Producer, Vator)
Session 5: Legal - What to think about now to keep your legal house in order. ,,William Acevedo (Attorney, Wendel Rosen Black & Dean LLP); Karen Balderama, (Attorney, Wendel Rosen Black & Dean LLP)
,, ,, All Tracks
5:15,,7:00,,Post Breakout Happy Hour Sponsored by Port Workspaces - Networking - Celebrate the afternoon with craft beer, wine & snacks
Day 2 - Thursday April 23 - Kaiser Center Theatre
Day 1 Breakout Sessions - Wednesday, April 22 - Port Workspaces at the Kaiser Center
Reach hundreds of influencers within the entrepreneurship community.
Splash is one of the best startup competitions and educational events, attracting super smart thought leaders in the tech industry. It's an event that inspires. This is an event for entrepreneurs who want to learn how to innovate, raise money, and scale a company. It's also a place for new investors to learn about angel investing and established ones to sharpen their game.
As seen in...
We had no idea of the power of Vator Splash until we found the event packed with representatives from many of the region's most renowned investment groups, journalists, elected officials, and professionals from tech and related fields. After OppSites was awarded first prize, our schedule rapidly filled with meetings with top venture capital investors, interviews with local media, and offers of support from business development professionals.
Founder & CEO OppSites; Principal at City Design Collective
The Vator community and its Splash event provided the perfect launch pad to generate exposure for our company. Winning Vator Splash 2013 SF gave us the exposure, quality venture capital meetings and network effect every startup needs to initiate and complete a successful round. The very next quarter, we raised a $4M Series A. Thanks Vator!
The event provides results: a significant number of investors, advisors and business development opportunities arose after we won Vator Splash in front of a crowd of more than 200. Furthermore, one of the judges - Dave McClure - ended up investing in our company. Finally, VatorSplash was a great momentum-builder for us as we were getting ready to fundraise. The victory provided social proof to prospective investors and increased our chances of successfully attracting investment. We went on to raise $1M from a great group of angel investors!
The VatorSplash events have been a fantastic opportunity to see great start-ups, connect with other investors, and hear from industry visionaries. Javelin has proudly sponsored the event for many years, and plans to keep actively supporting it for many more."
Javelin Venture Partners
DogVacay.com won Vator Splash LA in June 2012. The competition allowed us an opportunity to meet and pitch against some of the great Los Angeles startups and further foster our entrepreneurial community. There was such a positive energy with so many great minds providing insightful feedback throughout the night. Two paws up, Vator!
Founder & CEO at DogVacay
Vator Splash gives you a lot more than a fabulous evening of networking; it gives you access to an entire community of active investors and inspiring entrepreneurs that are making it happen. The event generated significant exposure for our online travel dashboard venture. Weeks after presenting we raised $100K from an investor who saw the online video of our Vator pitch.
Founder and CEO at Traxo
Vator's competition platform made it simple to judge contestants by accessing video, PPT, ratings, executive summaries all in one place. It's the most efficient solution to judging competitions and it makes the process of judging a lot more fun! And the Vator Splash competition makes it easy and efficient to review a large number of early-stage startups that I would not otherwise have been exposed to
Partner, Lightspeed Venture Partners
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VATOR SPLASH EVENT volunteers. Day of.
Click here to volunteer.
EVENT volunteers. Day of.
- Speaker Hosts
- Finalists Hosts
- Stage Hands
- Sponsor and Demo Host
- Stage Manager
- Social Media
- Team call meeting 10 days to 2 weeks prior
- Day-before-event meeting at venue (1 hour) to prep, or as early as 6:00 am, day of event
- Arrival at event
- Venue visit (1 month prior – for Usher Lead, Stage Manager, Speaker Host)
PRE-PRODUCTION volunteers. Up to 5 months prior.
- Startup Scout Master
- Startup & Finalist Host
- Director of Investor Relations
- Accelerator Partner Relations
- Media Partner Relations
- Social Media
- Press Relations
Be able to start several months prior to the event. Must have solid writing, communication skills.
For those interested in working with startups.
Details about pre-production roles:
Startup Scout Master, Startup Finalist Host: This person loves to work with startups and would love to learn more about them. Your job will be to identify promising startups, interact with them and help prep finalists to get on stage. This job is great for someone who wants to work at a startup or invest in them.
Director of Investor Relations, Accelerator Partner Relations: This person wants to interact with venture capitalists and angel investors and corporate investors – in short – investors. You will engage with them around 5 to 6 weeks prior to the event. Your job is to get to know them and their investments and to help them to evaluate the startups in the finalist competition. The Accelerator Partner Relations person will communicate with accelerators to engage their startups in the event and competition.
Social Media and Press: This person(s) is proficient at putting press releases together and posting social media updates on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Vator. This person has excellent writing skills and is fluent in English. This person has comfort and familiarity with social networks. This person must spend at least 20 minutes daily posting for Vator one month prior to the event about the event speakers, relevant news and throughout the day of event. Press person should work on at least one press release.