Carbon Robotics wins LDV Vision Summit 2016 Startup Competition

Rosanna Myers, Co-Founder & CEO Carbon Robotics during her 4 minute startup competition presentation.   ©Robert Wright/LDV Vision Summit

Rosanna Myers, Co-Founder & CEO Carbon Robotics during her 4 minute startup competition presentation.  
©Robert Wright/LDV Vision Summit

Our annual LDV Vision Summit has two competitions. Finalists receive a chance to present their wisdom in front of hundreds of top industry executives, venture capitalists, top industry executives and companies recruiting. Winning competitor also wins $5,000 Amazon AWS credits.

1. Startup competition for promising visual technology companies with less than $1.5M in funding?

2. Entrepreneurial Computer Vision Challenge for any Computer Vision and Machine Learning students, professors, experts or enthusiasts working on a unique solution to empower businesses and humanity.

Competitions are open to anyone working in our visual technology sector such as: empowering photography, videography, medical imaging, analytics, robotics, satellite imaging, computer vision, machine learning, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality, autonomous cars, media and entertainment, gesture recognition, search, advertising, cameras, e-commerce, visual sensors, sentiment analysis, and much more.

Each year we review over 100 applications to select about 20 sub-finalists. Sub-finalists receive remote presentation coaching from Evan Nisselson and invitation to our final mentoring and judging by a group of experts in person before the Summit. Finalists are invited to present on stage at the LDV Vision Summit in front of the audience and judges.

Finalists included: Reconstruct, SmartPlate, GeoCV, Simile, Shelfie, Faception and Carbon Robotics.  

Congratulations to our 2016 Startup Competition Winner: Carbon Robotics, Rosanna Myers, Co-Founder & CEO, Carbon Robotics.

[L-R] Rosanna of Carbon Robotics, Rebecca of CakeWorks, Serge & August Cornell Tech, & Evan of LDV Capital ©Robert Wright/LDV Vision Summit

[L-R] Rosanna of Carbon Robotics, Rebecca of CakeWorks, Serge & August Cornell Tech, & Evan of LDV Capital
©Robert Wright/LDV Vision Summit

We asked Rosanna some questions about her goals and experience at our LDV Vision Summit.

What were your goals for attending our LDV Vision Summit? Did you attain them?

We were excited about coming to the LDV Vision Summit for a few reasons. First, we wanted to learn from people working on interesting and disparate aspects of visual technologies. It's usually the combination of disciplines and backgrounds that yields the most creative results, so we were attracted to the theme.

We also wanted to connect with potential recruits and investors in NYC since we're based in SF and so hadn't ever connected with the ecosystem. The experience was great for that. Getting to pitch on the main stage was amazing, because it made it easy for people to learn about what we're working on. After the pitch, we were approached by tons of high-quality engineers and potential partners, so it was a great success.

We try to have an exciting cross section of judges from Computer Vision Experts, Entrepreneurs, Investors to Journalists. We typically have more judges than other events because we strongly believe more data will deliver better results. We also hope to have more opportunities for our competitors to raise capital when relevant. Startup Competition judges:  Josh Elman (Greylock, Partner), Brian Cohen (NY Angels, Chairman), Jessi Hempel (Wired, Senior Writer), David Galvin (IBM Ventures, Watson Ecoystem), Christina Bechhold (Samsung, Investor), Jason Rosenthal (Lytro, CEO), Susan McPherson (McPherson Strategies, CEO), Steve Schlafman (RRE Ventures, Principal), Taylor Davidson (Unstructured Ventures), Justin Mitchell (Founding Partner, A# Capital), Adaora Udoji (Rothenberg Ventures, Chief Storyteller), Varun Jain (Qualcomm Ventures, Investment Manager), Josh Weisberg (Microsoft, Principal PM, Computational Photography), Tamara Berg  (UNC, Chapel Hill, Assist. Prof., Computer Vision). ©Robert Wright/LDV Vision Summit

We try to have an exciting cross section of judges from Computer Vision Experts, Entrepreneurs, Investors to Journalists. We typically have more judges than other events because we strongly believe more data will deliver better results. We also hope to have more opportunities for our competitors to raise capital when relevant. Startup Competition judges:  Josh Elman (Greylock, Partner), Brian Cohen (NY Angels, Chairman), Jessi Hempel (Wired, Senior Writer), David Galvin (IBM Ventures, Watson Ecoystem), Christina Bechhold (Samsung, Investor), Jason Rosenthal (Lytro, CEO), Susan McPherson (McPherson Strategies, CEO), Steve Schlafman (RRE Ventures, Principal), Taylor Davidson (Unstructured Ventures), Justin Mitchell (Founding Partner, A# Capital), Adaora Udoji (Rothenberg Ventures, Chief Storyteller), Varun Jain (Qualcomm Ventures, Investment Manager), Josh Weisberg (Microsoft, Principal PM, Computational Photography), Tamara Berg  (UNC, Chapel Hill, Assist. Prof., Computer Vision). ©Robert Wright/LDV Vision Summit

Judge: Brian Cohen, NY Venture Partners, Founding Partner. NY Angels, Chairman ©Robert Wright/LDV Vision Summit

Judge: Brian Cohen, NY Venture Partners, Founding Partner. NY Angels, Chairman ©Robert Wright/LDV Vision Summit

Why did you apply to our LDV Vision Summit competition? Did it meet or beat your expectations and why?

Same reason as above. We wanted to come to the Summit to meet with and learn from people and we wanted to pitch on the stage to amplify signal. It definitely exceeded expectations. I ran out of business cards in the first 20 minutes after pitching and had really interesting conversations.

What were the most valuable parts of your LDV Vision Summit experience aside from winning the competition?

I would say that the best part was forging new relationships. Talks are great, but they can be watched asynchronously. The magic of having events with tons of interesting and creative people is the engineered serendipity. In a few hours, we met with computer vision experts, storytellers, roboticists, writers, investors, students, designers, and even a manufacturer. You just can't do that with a LinkedIn search. Business is really about people and it's nice to develop relationships organically.

Did you benefit from the pre-summit competition mentoring? If yes, how?

Yes, the pre-summit mentoring helped us hone our messaging, which I think was instrumental in helping us tell our story effectively. We also liked getting to know the LDV Vision Summit team personally, albeit briefly, and we're sorry we had to leave the city so quickly. Hopefully we can connect again very soon once everyone recovers.

 Josh Weisberg, Microsoft, Principal PM, Computational Photography asking a question. ©Robert Wright/LDV Vision Summit

 Josh Weisberg, Microsoft, Principal PM, Computational Photography asking a question. ©Robert Wright/LDV Vision Summit

©Robert Wright/LDV Vision Summit

©Robert Wright/LDV Vision Summit

Any advice to other entrepreneurs that might be thinking about applying to our next Startup Competition? Why should they apply?

Definitely apply, even if you are not sure how in-thesis you are. When we applied, I wasn't sure if we would be too tangential, because while we leverage a lot of computer vision to make applications easy and intuitive, we're not a computer vision company per se. We build robots and we build a platform. However, what we learned through the process is that LDV Summit is about the ecosystem and the impact, which can take many forms.

My advice if you get selected to pitch is to get to know the other founders. They are likely awesome people who are going through a lot of the same things you are and who have a high potential to become close friends and allies. It's called a competition and they do select a winner, but I think “winning” at these events is way more people than titles.