Technology entrepreneur Bear Simerson, co-founder of Palm Desert-based 3C.Health, finished in first place at the Fourth Annual Riverside County Fast Pitch Finale.
"I was truly truly shocked when they announced the winner," says Mr. Simerson. "There were some amazing companies with great presentations. But when we won, it was such an amazing feeling."
The "Fast Pitch" finale involved five entrepreneurs who each took top honors at an official Riverside County Innovation Month regional pitch competition. The competition is similar to "Shark Tank," where entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to a panel of judges.
As one of the three co-founders of 3C Health, Simerson has helped develop a platform that provides remote patient monitoring and automates the steps of sharing information among doctors and healthcare providers. Their solution, three years in development, also uses artificial intelligence to anticipate patient needs.
Simerson won the "Fast Pitch" in the Greater Palm Springs region to qualify for the finals.
"To present to that panel of judges who were very versed in business and in healthcare, it was a huge validation for the work we put in, it was awesome," Simerson told News Channel 3's Tom Tucker after his regional win earlier this month.
"Each year, the competitors from our region get more impressive," said Laura James, CVEP's VP of Innovation. "We are seeing an increase in very well-educated entrepreneurs like Bear with ideas that solve real problems, and the tenacity to follow through. We are excited to continue to provide guidance to this outstanding new Palm Springs iHub portfolio company as he grows this cutting-edge business in Greater Palm Springs."
Simerson is the first entreprenuer from the Greater Palm Springs area to come in first. Simerson was also part of another first for the competition, as he was part of the first stalemate in "Fast Pitch" history. Simerson shared the top spot with Steve Ward, founder of Riverside-based Future N Focus Dream Catcher Enterprises
Judges said after deliberation that "no amount of additional discussion would change the fact that they saw two
equally qualified top competitors."
The first place prize of $10,000 and second place prize of $5,000 were combined and divided equally among the two first place winners, with each taking home $7,500.
“This validates our view of how we feel healthcare should be and we are even more inspired to fulfill that vision within our community. The guidance and resources that were provided from CVEP leading up to the competition were so valuable to our presentation and we can’t thank them enough for their continuing support,” Simerson said of his victory.
3C Health is a growing startup company with plans to hire up to 12 employees in Greater Palm Springs by the end of 2021.