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“The biggest thing for an early stage entrepreneur is to command people to follow you.” That bit of wisdom about what stands out in a good business pitch was shared on stage at the 2019 GeekWire Summit — and it was apparently followed — as a winner emerged in Season 2 of GeekWire’s Elevator Pitch series.

Maria Colacurcio, CEO of Syndio Solutions, creators of a software solution to address discriminatory pay gaps, bested three other finalists at the Summit earlier this month after emerging from a pack of 12 entrepreneurs who pitched their concepts during the 32-second elevator ride to the top of Seattle’s Smith Tower.

“Pay equity is not a fad, it is building momentum,” Colacurcio said, while wearing an “Equal Pay” T-shirt on stage.

“I think this company is fabulous and I love the vision,” said Heather Redman, co-founder of Flying Fish Ventures and one of the Elevator Pitch judges.

Maria Colacurcio, right, CEO of Syndio Solutions, on stage at the GeekWire Summit in Seattle during the finale of the Elevator Pitch series. (Dan DeLong Photo for GeekWire)

Colacurcio took the title after a final pitch against three other CEOs: Keith McCall of Pollen Systems, creators of agriculture and drone technology for various crops and geographies; Greg Newbloom of Membrion, a University of Washington spinout that makes ion membranes for use in fuel cells and water desalination systems; and Jinesh Varia of Industrility, a startup focused on IoT technology solutions for industrial original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

The second season of Elevator Pitch, sponsored by PACCAR, featured ideas related to agriculture, transportation, AI, IoT connectivity and more. Serial entrepreneur and Pioneer Square Labs managing director T.A. McCann and Kyle Quinn, CTO at PACCAR, were the other two judges at the Summit.

“I’d like to congratulate all 12 CEOS for everything that they’ve put together and pitched and put their passion into,” Quinn said before handing the trophy to Colacurcio.

To catch up on Season 2 of Elevator Pitch and see all the original pitches, follow the links below:

  • Watch Episode 1 here to see McCall’s original pitch, as well as pitches from Virginia Emery of Beta Hatch and Christoph Krumm of Sironix Renewables.
  • Watch Episode 2 here to see Newbloom’s original pitch, as well as pitches from Manuela Papadopol of Portland’s Designated Driver and Jason Atherton, co-founder of Shared Technology.
  • Watch Episode 3 here to see Varia’s original pitch, as well as pitches from Robert Hamlet, CEO of Teal Communications and Alan Meekins, CEO of RosHub.
  • Watch Episode 4 here to see Colacurcio’s original pitch, as well as pitches from John Herlocker, CEO of Tignis, and James Wu, CEO of AdaptiLab.
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