Originally appeared on Fast Lane, the official blog of the U.S. Department of Transportation
by Regina Hopper, President & CEO, ITS America

its america

(L to R) Sabrina Sussman, ITS America, VP World Congress and a Strategic Forums; Quin Garcia, Autotech; Bill Malkes, GRIDSMART; Yale  Zhang, co-founder of SPLT (Splitting Fares); Chris Thomas, Fontinalis Partners; Duncan Williams, Greentech Capitol
Photo credit Bruce Boyajian

Are you an entrepreneur who lives and breathes innovation? Do you have the next big idea that will change the way we move people and goods across the country?  Or have you discovered the best way to use technology to more effectively manage traffic and improve our commutes to the office? Well, so do the competitors in ITS America’s “The Intelligent Pitch.”

All week ITS America 2016 San Jose has brought together the best of transportation, tech, innovation, the public and private sectors, research and academia.Today, the best and brightest innovators gathered for “The Intelligent Pitch,” transportation’s very own version of Shark Tank.

As part of “The Intelligent Pitch” entrepreneurs had the opportunity to earn their seat at the table in the new age of intelligent transportation. During this special session, four competing entrepreneurs and startups delivered a fast-paced business pitch to a panel of venture capitalist and investor judges, including Bill Malkes, CEO and Cofounder of Gridsmart; Chris Thomas, Co-founder and partner of Fontinalis; Duncan Williams, Partner at Greentech; and moderated by Quin Garcia, AutoTech.

Last year’s Intelligent Pitch winner, Eyes Only Systems, wowed the judges with a presentation of technology that enables cross-jurisdictional personnel management- built especially for crisis response. They painted a future where agencies can deploy resources and people together against a common goal- keeping our public safe.

This year, Yale Zhang, co-founder of SPLT (Splitting Fares) took home the grand prize. This winning proposal seeks to provide customers with a simple and easy alternative to normal commuting, by helping commuters easily find and arrange carpools.

As the U.S. Department of Transportation celebrates Innovation Month, I can think of no greater way to ensure that we continue to innovate in the transportation field than by fostering today’s entrepreneurs and intelligent transportation startups. This is critical to promoting safety, sustainability and the economic development of our country.

Congrats to all of the competitors and thank you to all those who came to San Jose for ITS America 2016. I look forward to the strides we will make in the creation of a next generation transportation network in 2017.

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