Tech Titans Reverse Pitch Event Turns the Tables

Reverse pitch


Most pitch days put startups on the hot seat in front of a panel of judges or a voting audience.

On Thursday, Tech Titans will flip it around and turn it upside down with its Reverse Pitch event at the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, Texas Instruments Auditorium on the University of Texas at Dallas campus in Richardson.

The event opens at 11 a.m with registration and ends with a reception/networking event at 5 p.m.


What’s a reverse pitch day? It’s a chance for startups to hear what large companies capable of investing in innovation and technology are interested in for Internet of Things, M2M, and big data.

Some of Dallas-Fort Worth’s top tech innovators will be on hand divided into three panels in which their representatives will detail what those companies are interested in for development.

“Our experience in connecting entrepreneurs and our corporate community has identified a need to get feedback to entrepreneurs about where they can target concepts to better guarantee they find a market for their product,” ShaChelle Manning, leader of the pitch day effort and director of innovation of Tech Titans’ member Pioneer Natural Resources, said in a release. “We want to work within the entrepreneur communities to provide input and guidance about which solutions would be attractive to the corporate community and, ultimately, find success for themselves, their own companies and the North Texas tech community as a whole.”

reverse pitch

Bill Sprout is president and CEO of Tech Titans

The panels are separated into industry fields. Bill Sproull, CEO of Tech Titans, will give the panel discussion introduction.

It’s an effort by Tech Titans to give entrepreneur and small- to midsize startups customer feedback.


Companies taking part in the reverse pitch are AT&T Foundry, BlueCross BlueShield of Texas, CapitalOne Garage, Cisco Ventures, Ericsson, GE Ventures, GlobeRanger/Fujitsu, Mitel, Nokia, Pioneer Natural Resources, Samsung, State Farm Insurance, Texas Instruments, United Healthcare, and Verizon.

Keynotes speakers for the event will be Shahid Ahmed, IoT thought leader for PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Tony Pereira, vice president of business development and strategic partnerships at Mitel.

Jeremy Vickers, executive director of the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UT Dallas, will give the welcoming address.

The first panel will center on network infrastructure companies, and will include Bob Gessel, head of networking and technology strategy in North American for Nokia; Craig Lee, director of AT&T Foundry; John Shelnut, vice president and general manager, Cisco Ventures; Robert Regan, mergers and acquisitions for Nokia, and Warrant Westrup, IoT strategy for Verizon.


The second panel will be composed insurance and financial firms and will feature ShaChelle Manning, director of innovation at Pioneer Natural Resources; Michael Aviles, corporate manager for State Farm Insurance; Ray Bajaj, head of financial services, architecture and garage technology at CapitalOne, and Vicki Lauri, chief information officer for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas..

Technology integrators and users will comprise the third panel, which includes Oliver Monnier, director of marketing, connectivity and IoT for Texas Instruments (moderator); Recardo Angel, managing director-energy for GE Ventures; George Brody, CEO of GlobeRanger/Fujitsu (retired), and Justin Denison, vice president of product strategy and marketing, Samsung Electronics America.

With 300 member companies, Tech Titans is the largest technology trade association in Texas. It represents a quarter million employees of those businesses.

Photo by Andrew Smith

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