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ABC's "Shark Tank" TV Star and Tech Entrepreneur Robert Herjavec to Announce Winners of FASTPITCH on Nov. 19

connected car (select to view enlarged photo)

LOS ANGELES--Sept. 4, 2013: From start-up app developers to giant mobile providers, key players in the tech arena are making a big splash in the automotive world, and the Connected Car Expo (CCE) is helping to discover the next big thing. Recognizing start-ups' and entrepreneurs' increasing importance in the connected car ecosystem, CCE announced today that it will launch FASTPITCH. Powered by SplunkŪ, FASTPITCH is an exciting competition that showcases innovators defining new mobility while connecting them to the auto industry's top decision makers.

Each individual/group entrant will be challenged to solve a current issue affecting the auto industry. Original ideas can address a diverse range of hot topics, including automotive data, mapping, emissions, environmental issues, in-car apps, in-car entertainment, parking and telematics. Similar to the format of the hit ABC series "Shark Tank," a group of esteemed industry decision makers will hear pitch presentations from eight finalists during CCE.

FASTPITCH targets visionaries with new ideas in the seed and start-up phases of development within the automotive or technology sectors. Entrepreneurs with less than $500,000 in funding will have the opportunity to pitch their original business concept to a diverse and influential judging panel. Judges include Philip Potloff, Executive Vice President and CIO at; Christy Wilson, VP of Product Operations at Splunk; Linda Senigaglia, NeverLost Senior Director of Product Marketing for Hertz; and Martin Price, Co-Founder of Productsy. The event emcee is Jon Alain Guzik, founder and CEO of RideApart and Hubris Factory, Inc.

The FASTPITCH winners will be announced by Robert Herjavec of ABC's "Shark Tank" on Nov. 19, the first day of LA Auto Show's CCE Press Days, following a panel discussion entitled "How Entrepreneurs Will Change the Automotive Industry." In addition to being a judge on the television reality series, Herjavac is classic rags-to-riches story who made his millions as a technology entrepreneur. The first place winner will be awarded a Splunk Start Program Enterprise License: 20GB for 12-month term, including Splunk education, marketing and support teams ($40,000 Value).

"We are excited to work with start-up companies and use Splunk to optimize the winner's offering and help take it to market with the best chance for success," said Erik Swan, Splunk CTO and Co-founder.

Competition hopefuls may enter the Splunk FASTPITCH Competition by visiting Fastpitch Splunk for entry forms, instructions and complete rules and regulations.

All submissions must be received by 6 p.m. on Sept. 30 to be considered, but contenders may enter early bird submissions by Sept. 17.