Demo Day 2016

In 2016 we graduated ten amazing startups at our Demo Day on April 21st.

Demo Day was kicked off by the incredible poet Azure Antoinette.

There comes a time when it’s hours after midnight and the moments left are very close to dawn.

The left side of your brain is bruised from all of the logical process and your heart can do nothing but beat in a samba time and ache. When 1am turns to 2, then turns for 4:30, every statement turns to question like “How did you get here?” “Will any of this even work” and “Why on earth did I allow myself to think that this was possible?” You start to see the wrinkles, the furrow in your brow when you think, “I never asked to be brilliant. Ordinary was just not something that interested me.”

So you sit. You watch the clock inch forward. You sit watching the sun stretch its arms out over the horizon as if to stretch for a day that it knows will be far too long for its liking.  You think, “I will never be done. Changing this world is thankless and some days I think I just really need a pat on the back. Because yesterday every mistake I’ve ever made was called into question and yesterday I allowed someone else’s misplaced judgment of me to be in the quest of allowing me to doubt every part of myself that I know to be absolute. So this dawn, I’m pacing my hallway. 

This dawn, I’m banging my head against the wall. This dawn, I’m beating my chest just to make sure that my lion heart still has the guts to roar.”  Because this flower child turned dynamo turned whistle blow, she knows that the sun probably thinks that it never gets enough rest. And the sun probably thinks that it got the short end of the stick because people always seem to quote the moon and the stars when they’re inspired and when they’re in love. But if the sun, which is now overhead, full of smile and ray and greenhouse gases can shine every single day, even when the cumulous, and the nimbus and the stratus don’t want it to be seen and you, you fire breathing dynamo, will forget the sleep today and when you grow weary, I want you to remember that rest isn’t for those who revel in success. 

I need you to put away your insecurities because they were just placed on you by people who were never taught about the span of their own wings. You have got to human. You have to claim your mistakes, acknowledge your faults and say thank you for any single compliment coming your way. You’ve got to promise me something. No matter what, you’re never going to shirk, you will not dodge, you will only amplify. Because you can do this. 

Even when the startup means start over, you must merge lanes. You must follow your clandestine right in the hand that ushers acquisition and escrow. You’ll not only stay off the course, completely out of your lane. You have to continue to defy the laws of accelerant because brilliance can never be contained and no one, no one in their right mind would be foolish enough to follow a shooting star. So you go. You promise me. Swear it.

Explore the opening, highlights, and pitches from MergeLane Demo Day 2016

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