Two Startups Win Stanford’s Annual Pitch-Off

The Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) Venture Capital Club today (April 24) announced the winner of its annual startup pitch-off. This year, there were two winners, LifeSwap and Rentlingo.

The winner was chosen from a list of five finalists, which included:

— Lawyerfy, which provides a client relationship management platform designed to help lawyers provide exceptional service to their clients. Developed by Jeff Lin and Edward Yen.

— IvyPromise, which delivers a mobile solution that lets users easily take accurate body measurements based on a video to enable them to shop confidently online for clothing, and helps retailers reduce returns and increase consumer satisfaction. Developed by Jenny Maher.

— GoCart, which brings online shopping into the mobile age with a personalized, cloud-based “universal shopping cart” that allows consumers to add and organize items from any retailer, access their cart on any device, complete purchases more efficiently and share the whole shopping experience with friends. Developed by Ben Levick.

LifeSwap, which is like Airbnb for job experiences. It’s a marketplace for short job immersions, allowing users to be a baker, consultant, barista, or Stanford student for a day, because everyone wants to know what it’s like to be someone else. Developed by Bastiaan Janmaat, Mike Dorsey and Jack Dubie.

Rentlingo, which is changing the way people rent by offering a complete set of listings and a trusted community. Developed by Dan Laufer, Mikael Hamaoui, Rick Barber, Byron Singh and Kyle Tan.

“The pitch-off provides the student community with a tremendous opportunity to turn their entrepreneurial ambitions into reality. The volume and quality of the submissions this year exceeded our expectations, and it will be exciting to track the progress of all the entrants moving forward,” said Andrew Lockhart, VC Club co-president. “It is programs like this that inspire and encourage us to pursue our goals of creating companies that make a difference in the world.”

Each finalist was given the opportunity to present their final plan to a panel of experts who weighed proposals against a series of criteria including: the team, the problem they are attempting to solve, the proposed solution, estimated market size, market competition, potential to scale to a $100 million business and statement of milestones that could reasonably be reached within six months. After much deliberation, LifeSwap and Rentlingo were declared the winners.

“This program was started in 2010 to foster innovation and help students turn their visions into potentially great companies,” said Cali Tran, principal of North Bridge Venture Partners, in a statement. “The submissions this year were all outstanding and choosing the winner was difficult. We congratulate both teams on winning, as well as all the finalists on their ingenuity. North Bridge is proud to support the Stanford GSB VC club in this great student-led initiative.”

In 2010, the pitch-off led to two companies being funded — Magoosh, an online multi-media test preparation company based in Berkley, California, and Profitably, a web-based business intelligence and improvement service for small and medium businesses based in New York. In 2011, mOasis won for their efforts to commercialize an innovative bio-engineered material that allows soil to better retain water and enables plants to grow more efficiently.

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