At the two-day event, dozens of startups that have come through one of Plug and Play’s many accelerator programs will pitch their products and services to executives at corporations and early-stage investors who may be interested in working with them.
Plug and Play charges attendees from the general public for tickets to attend and watch the pitches as well.
Unlike other accelerators, Plug and Play Ventures doesn’t automatically invest seed funding, or demand equity stakes, in every single company it admits.
And its admissions committee for each batch includes not just Plug and Play mentors and investors, but a committee of corporate executives who review applicants. The corporate “anchor partners” who will be involved in each acceleartor are listed on the Plug and Play website so entrepreneurs can decide if they want to reveal what they’re working on to these large industry players before applying.
Otherwise, Plug and Play’s accelerators are what you’d expect, 3-month bootcamps for promising tech startups in different industry segments. Plug and Play aims to help startups in a given category move from prototyping and design into a stage where they’ve got a refined business model and are generating income.
And it uses accelerators to help large employers, who pay Plug and Play for “corporate innovation as a service,” to connect and work with some of the best and the brightest startups in their field.
Typically the corporations are not looking to invest in newly formed startups, but to learn about emerging tech and trends from them, and begin to engage them on a limited basis, say in a pilot project, a non-recurring engineering contract, or a first sales contract.
Phillip Seiji Vincent, the Director of Internet of Things and Mobility at Plug and Play, tells TechCrunch that “The accelerators are just one vehicle we make investment decisions through. It’s always case by case and we back over 100 startups each year, and make hundreds of connections between startups and corporate partners that lead to meaningful business for them both.”
On Thursday, companies will be presenting in health and insurance, and on Friday companies will be presenting across travel and hospitality, internet of things and mobility.