Congratulations to the winner of Pitchfest!
The winner of the multiround, two-day Pitchfest event is Pikmykid, a solution that improves dismissal management and student safety.
CEO and Founder Saravana Pat Bhava, who attendees may have noticed riding on a bus-themed scooter around the FETC® convention center, went up against 23 other contenders in the third annual premier pitch event. Every year, ed tech startup leaders pitch (hence the name) their solutions to a panel of four judges at the Trailblazer Theater in the Expo Hall.
This year, competitors had four minutes in the three preliminary rounds to clearly identify their customer and problem, and prove that their solution could solve this challenge. The judges also ranked them on their solution’s usability and uniqueness.
Read more about the event: Why school leaders and ed tech startups should attend Pitchfest at FETC® 2021
In the final round, Bhava and the founders of Centegix (second place), Kiddie Kredit (third place) and Admin Remix (fourth place) battled it out once more in even less time: three minutes.
As champion, Bhava received:
- a complimentary 10-by-10-foot exhibit space at FETC® 2021
- a $10,000 media advertising package in District Administration
magazine and digital properties
- an opportunity to pitch to senior district administrators in the VIP
During the event, the audience and judges heard firsthand how Pikmykid improves school dismissal management, what Bhava described as the “weakest link” in data automation that most institutions manage through “walkie-talkies and sticky notes.”
Similar to other presenters, Bhava received inspiration for his solution from personal experience. “I was on my way to my daughter’s school to pick her up, when all of a sudden, my car door opened and a school staff member put a white kid in the back of my car,” said Bhava, who is not white. “My daughter was missing.”
His web-based solution creates a geofence around the school district that employs Pikmykid. “Every time a parent enters that area, there is a digital handshake, so the school knows in real time when parents are in line,” Bhava told the judges. This information is then displayed on smartboards somewhere inside the school. “Students waiting for their parents can then do their homework inside, where it’s safer and out of the rain during inclement weather,” he said. “This reduces disruptive behavior and takes less of a process to handle.”
Pikmykid also provides up-to-date custody details of parents who enter the geofence and sends alerts when students get on buses, walk home or stay after school. “Our system triggers alerts that give 360-degree accountability,” Bhava said.
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