Crowd Mics wins Startup Connect AZ with a simple Q&A

Photography contribution by Travis Arbon 
At the Arizona Technology Council Startup Connect AZ event, five startups from around the state pitched against each other for cash, bragging rights and some good face time with investors, CEOs, educators and influencers.
In the end, the audience chose Crowd Mics, an app that turns your smartphone into a microphone, as the winner. Founders and brothers Tim and Sean Holladay share that they purposefully shifted up their pitch style and showed off the capabilities of the app a bit more through audience engagement. The cool thing was during their Q&A section, there was no shouting of questions, no leaning over to your neighbor and asking “What was the question?” or yelling out to the moderator “Speakup! We can’t hear the question!” None of that. All of the interaction was easy to hear, everyone was engaged, and the audience loved it.


The brothers are working on integrating this technology into more conferences where there are hundreds-to-thousands of people who would love to participate in a Q&A but it’s close to impossible unless the microphone finds its way to your seat.
Since our last coverage, Crowd Mics is currently in the mist of hiring software engineers and using their winnings to expand their marketing efforts and product capabilities, Tim said.
Other startups that pitched included some familiar faces within the AZ tech community
Endovantage – spawned out of Arizona State University and Mayo Clinic, this powerful software tool gives surgeons the ability to upload a patient’s medical data, and depending on the procedure, has the ability to enter various scenarios, compare treatments and potential outcomes before the patient goes under the knife, all within two hours of the surgery. Since January they’ve worked with three hospitals and numerous medical device companies. They have taken home their fair share of wins and awards such as the ACA Innovation Challenge and the 2014 Mimics Innovation Award in the poster category for the North and South American region, among other recognition.  Read our extended coverage here.

Searchlight & Sentinel Internet Systems – a software platform that helps protect a company’s editorial content against plagiarism. With over 30 percent of content online duplicated, the software is designed to be a watchdog over your content and skower the Internet for any thieves.
Shooters Revolution – a smart basketball that acts as your coach and provides feedback to players via smartphone about the rotation of their shot. With a $99 price tag, this is a great last minute gift for the little LeBron in your life. Read more coverage about Shooters Revolution here.
Storybyte – this creative tech team led by CEO Jonathan Cottell built the app to help all of us capture moments in time and develop a photo narrative from our experiences. I dare to admit how many photos are on my smartphone right now, but with Storybyte, it will pull together photos by location and time into a beautiful slideshow to share with others. For brands, they are using this platform to connect with their audience in a more meaningful way. “We are about photo narratives and connecting emotionally with brands,” Cottell said. Recently they raised $125,000 to fuel their fingers and create more features for this storytelling app. Read about their raise and more coverage here.
Read about more pitch competitions around Arizona at AZTB
The cash prize is still TBD as it was based on revenue from ticket sales