Launch Pad Startup Competition

Business of Making

Tuesday, May 12, 9:30 am to 10:30 am in Launch Pad Stage


Join our panel of judges to watch the top ten finalists of the Launch Pad hardware startup entrants pitch their companies! Each finalist will have 5 minutes to pitch followed by 5-7 minutes of questions from expert judges to determine who among these top ten has the most exciting product and the most viable business plan.

And the Winner is: Squink from BotFactory!


Squink is a desktop electronics factory that connects directly through your browser and enables you to design and create electronic circuits from home, for the cost of a cup of coffee. An intuitive user interface walks you through a simple process: printing the electrical traces, placing conductive glue dots for components, and picking up electronic parts, identifying them with a camera, and placing them on the board, then heat-curing the board.

Congratulations to the BotFactory Team!


Ann Miura-Ko

Co-founder, FLOODGATE
Ann Miura-Ko has been called "the most powerful woman in startups" by Forbes and is a lecturer in entrepreneurship at Stanford. The child of a rocket scientist at NASA, Ann is a Palo Alto native and has been steeped in technology startups from when she was a teenager. Prior to co-founding FLOODGATE, she worked at Charles River Ventures and McKinsey and Company. Some of Ann's investments include Lyft, Ayasdi, Xamarin, Refinery29, Chloe and Isabel, Maker Media, Wanelo, TaskRabbit, and Modcloth.


Gareth Keane

Investment Manager, Qualcomm Ventures
Gareth Keane is an Investment Manager with Qualcomm Ventures, based in the Bay Area. His career to date has stretched from engineering to venture capital investment. Gareth currently manages Qualcomm Ventures' investments in 360fly, 3DR, LifX, Pelican Imaging, Skycatch and Swift Navigation.
Prior to Qualcomm Ventures he worked for two years in the corporate development teams at National Semiconductor and Texas Instruments, focused on strategic investment, corporate M&A and corporate strategy. Previously he worked for PMC-Sierra and a number of other technology firms across both hardware and software in a variety of technical and management roles.
Gareth has an MBA from The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania, a PhD in Electronic Engineering from The Queen’s University of Belfast and a BE in Electronic Engineering from the National University of Ireland, Galway. Gareth is also a Kauffman Fellow.


Joanne Domeniconi

Co-founder and Chief Discovery Officer, The Grommet
Founded in 2008, The Grommet is a product launch platform for innovative, new to market products and the first curated, online commerce platform for both B2C and B2B discovery and sales of consumer products created by Maker entrepreneurs. The Grommet is rewriting the playbook for product launch and reshaping how people discover, share, influence and buy products online. The Grommets mission is rooted in the philosophy of Citizen Commerce™, a movement that enables product purchases to express ones personal values around sustainability, technology, social enterprise or buying locally. As Co-founder and Chief Discovery Officer, Joanne Domeniconi guides the discovery, storytelling and launch of brilliant, new to market products by Maker entrepreneurs.


Rafe Needleman

Tech Editor, Yahoo
Rafe Needleman, Yahoo Tech Editor. The editorial director of Yahoo Tech, Rafe has been reviewing technology products and startup ideas for more than 20 years. He worked as editor-in-chief of the original personal computing magazine, Byte, and was the first editor of CNET reviews. He’s also worked at Evernote, PC/Computing, Corporate Computing, Red Herring, and InfoWorld. He’s the author of the Pro PR Tips blog, a delightful collection of never-do communications mistakes.