ORANGE, CA--(Marketwired - Feb 13, 2014) -  The Tech Coast Venture Network (TCVN), one of Southern California's premier technology business networks dedicated to empowering entrepreneurs, hosted Survivor 8 -- its eighth annual fast-pitch competition -- with the Leatherby Center at Chapman University on Feb. 7, 2014. The largest entrepreneurial investment and prize competition in Orange County set a new record high for early start-up competitions by attracting more than 300 attendees from across the Southland and awarding inspiring participants with unprecedented rewards, including a grand prize of a $25,000 cash investment and 1-year incubator scholarship from, valued at $25,000. From the 115 competing companies, HEPATIQ™ -- a company focused on diagnosing the severity of liver disease -- and its co-founder and CEO Dipu Ghosh wowed the judges with entrepreneurial spirit, raw talent and authenticity, nabbing the coveted grand prize. HEPATIQ software provides a quantitative index of liver disease severity by analyzing nuclear medicine images of the liver and spleen. 

"TCVN's Survivor 8 offered hard-working business startups the opportunity to compete for funding and prizes, gain visibility and network with like-minded entrepreneurs," said Ash Kumra, chairman of TCVN, co-founder of and public speaker. "The success of this year's Survivor 8 attests to the growing number of thought leaders making an impact on Southern California's small-business climate. It's inspiring, year after year, to see so many local leaders, investors and entrepreneurs come together to help fund the next big idea and support a new generation of dedicated innovators. Survivor 8's grand prize winner, HEPATIQ, presented a remarkably comprehensive business strategy and demonstrated stellar technological proficiency."

Sponsors of the event included Uber, CRISP Brand Agency, Beyond Fifteen Communications, Real Office Centers, Goodwill of Orange County, My Open Road, Tech in Motion Events, Balls of Steel, Haynes and Boone, LLP, 7 1 4 Brew, Bigwig Monster Media, Rise Up Foundation, Chick Labs, Tech Space, K5, Now CFO, Mab Ventures, Eat.Sleep.FlyDavid McNeil, Guppy Tank, ONEHOPE, AViiQ, FastStart Studio and SWAV.

More than 120 companies squared off on stage in a 30-second pitch competition to earn one of 10 semifinalist spots -- which were judged by a prestigious panel of startup experts, investors and serial entrepreneurs. These 10 Survivor semi-finalists -- representing a wide variety of industries including technology, consumer products, and B2B -- were eventually narrowed down to compete in a Q&A lightning round with the judges before HEPATIQ was named the winner of the 2014 Survivor event.

"Being awarded the grand prize of TCVN's Survivor 8 means that our HEPATIQ technology now has the funded potential to become the standard of care for liver disease diagnosis and staging," said Dipu Ghosh. 

ABOUT TCVN: Founded in 1984, the non-profit Tech Coast Venture Network (TVCN) is one of Southern California's premier technology business networks. Through a wide variety of forums, pitch sessions, workshops and networking events, TCVN brings together entrepreneurs and resources from every facet of the technology and startup landscape. It's a trusted resource for startup and emerging entrepreneurs seeking connections to capital, peers and mentors to drive growth. TCVN educates and assists entrepreneurs, connecting them with the resources to help grow their businesses. For more information, visit

Contact Information:

Leslie Licano
Beyond Fifteen Communications, Inc.