Be inspired, broaden your network, and hear the big ideas that disrupt the way you live and work.

No matter the size or the tenure of your company, much of your future growth and success depends on your organization’s ability to adapt to change and seek out new ideas, services, and products. Back by popular demand, this speed-pitch competition, broken out by key industries, features some of the most innovative and promising companies defending their ideas to a panel of judges. This fun and exciting competition format provides a platform for directors to see firsthand some of the leading-edge ideas and technologies that are shaping and disrupting the core businesses they help to oversee. Summit attendees will also have the opportunity to meet and dialogue with the winners at a special breakfast session.

What is Dancing with the Start-Ups?

This is a fast-paced, Shark Tank–style challenge where 12 promising start-ups from key industries have minutes to showcase their company’s vision. A panel of expert judges selects a winner. You’ll see what goes into a successful pitch and hear open feedback from the judges, who are corporate directors, innovation experts, and prominent executives.

How does it work?

There will be three rounds of the competition in three industries: financial services, energy, and healthcare. The winner in each category will receive a cash prize, a complimentary NACD membership, and a suite of NACD services and support to help them advance governance within their organizations.

Featured companies: 

Start-Ups – Energy:

  • BlocPower – Connects investors to green and healthy building projects in local communities
  • Dynamo Micropower – Reduces energy costs by 80% with a power solution built uniquely for the oil and gas industry
  • Energy Harvesters LLC – Solves the problem of how to charge smartphones and wearable device batteries when there is no electricity available
  • GeoOrbital – Converts any standard bicycle into an electric bike in seconds, opening up a world of possibilities for alternative electric vehicles

Start-Ups – Finance:

  • EyeBuy Inc. – Enables TV/video viewers to instantly buy or engage with any brand item (e.g., shoes, dresses) they see onscreen
  • MovoCash Inc. – Combines mobile banking, peer-to-peer (P2P) money transfer, and digital card payments to create an all-in-one digital solution
  • Street Diligence Inc. – Uses a software platform to allow financial and legal professionals to analyze and negotiate contracts more effectively
  • Waleteros – Addresses the needs of the more than 300 million low-income, unbanked, and under-banked consumers in the Americas with its one-stop shop mobile banking solution

Start-Ups – Health Care:

  • AVA – Helps people live in optimal health by using smart nutritional coaching
  • Common Sensing Inc. – Transforms the modern pharmacy using smart hardware and software support for people using injectable medicine
  • Rubitection – Detects, prevents, and manages bedsores with a low-cost reliable diagnostic system
  • Spring Health – Uses AI to help mental health patients get better faster


5:15 PM – 6:45 PM

Dancing with the Start-Ups

This is a fast-paced, Shark Tank–style challenge where 12 promising start-ups have minutes to showcase their company’s vision and answer a panel of expert judges’ questions on their business platform. You’ll see what goes into a successful pitch, hear open feedback from the judges, and—for the first time ever—will get to vote for your favorite start-up! Participating companies to be announced. Judges include:

Danielle Cohn
Director of Entrepreneurial Engagement, Comcast Corporation
Robin Raskin
Founder, Living in Digital Times
Amy Wilkinson
Founder, Ingenuity; Lecturer, Stanford GSB; Author, The Creator’s Code

Posted By: NACD
Title: Dancing with the Start-Ups