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San Diego entrepreneurs win thousands at Pan-African and Latino pitch competition

Pitch competition winners took home $15,000 in crowdfunding credit

Three local tech startups founded by Pan-African and Latino founders have won a combined $15,000 for delivering the strongest pitch at a startup competition in San Diego.

The startup competition was put on by We Tha Plug, a new organization founded by active startup community organizer Luis Martinez, who also leads San Diego’s Startup Grind group. We Tha Plug is working to boost the entrepreneurial ecosystem for underrepresented groups, with a focus on Pan-African and Latinos.

Winners include drone company PromoDrone, artificial intelligence startup Edifius and health tech venture Docfully. Each startup gets a $5,000 credit on crowdfunding site Republic, which allows entrepreneurs to raise money from individuals online. The credit will give each company a head start on larger fundraising rounds.

Eight startups participated in the competition June 1, pitching their business ideas to a panel of judges that included incubator executives and investors. The winners were judged on their business idea, the likelihood of the startup’s success, the quality of their pitch, and the scalability of their company.

Martinez said the event drew 60 attendees to the Blink UX headquarters, a tech development and design company that hosted the event.

Here’s a snapshot of each winning company:

PromoDrone

Founded by: Jamar Williams
PromoDrone uses a fleet of drones to deliver aerial advertising, photo and video services, live streaming and traffic analytics for clients. The company targets businesses that put on large events, and clients include Startup San Diego, the nonprofit that puts on San Diego Startup Week each year.

Edifius

Founded by: Mother and son team Perla and Adrian Humphrey
Edifius is a software company building an artificial intelligence platform to automate mundane call center tasks. The company’s conversational voice bot performs actions that can be trained to a client’s specific needs.

Docfully

Founded by: Jacques Stroud
Docfully is developing a remote clinical health care service to help the disabled and elderly get medical service from qualified health professionals, without leaving their homes.

Winners.JPG
Winners from left to right: Jamar Williams, founder/CEO of PromoDrone; Andres Venegas, head of strategic partnerships at KiwiTech (judge); Perla Humphrey, co-founder of Edifius; Luis Martinez, founder of We Tha Plug; Shani Green, chief strategy officer at Docfully; Christiana Russell, chief operating officer at We Tha Plug; Bassanio Peters, venture partner at MultiPass Ventures (judge); and Adrian Humphrey, co-founder of Edifius.
Courtesy of Luis Martinez

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