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Discuss IO CEO Zach Simmons.
Discuss IO CEO Zach Simmons.

Discuss IO had pitched at several investment competitions around Seattle in the past year, but fell short of any money each time.

Things changed on Thursday as the 11-person startup took home a $155,000 top prize at the fifth Seattle Angel Conference.

Discuss IO, previously a finalist at the November 2013 Seattle Angel Conference, uses video conferencing and crowdsourcing to help brands learn more about their consumers.

“We are planning to use the funds to jump start our sales engine,” Discuss IO Zach Simmons said. “We have a strong product and we are excited to grow our presence within marketing departments across the the Fortune 500.”

Another $45,000 was awarded to SocialGlimpz, a similar marketing startup that helps customers on visual engagement with consumers.

The Seattle Angel Conference, which launched two-and-a-half years ago, has now awarded $835,000 to winning companies.

“The Seattle Angel Conference is all about giving new angel investors mentoring, training and experience, growing the available support and capital for Washington’s many startups, removing a key bottleneck for the economy,” John Sechrest, founder of the Seattle Angel Conference, said in a statement. “At the same time, we are helping promising startups improve their business models with support and feedback from successful investors”.

Here were the other finalists that pitched at the Impact HUB last night:

  • Grow Plastics: Enabling replacement of solid plastic products with half as much bioplastic, providing greener and cheaper solutions.
  • Meshfire: A social media empowerment platform enabling teams to manage the firehose flow of social media for brands.
  • Zealyst: Using data driving software and creative design to build long lasting human relationships and improve engagement and innovation.

The next Seattle Angel Conference will be held in November 2014, with applications due on Sept. 1.

Editor’s Note: Zach Simmons’ comments were added at 2:40 p.m on May 23. 

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