WASHINGTON, Oct. 11, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), the standard setter for board leadership, recently awarded each of three emerging companies—BoostUp, Vital Vio, and Disease Diagnostic Group—a $30,000 prize package at its first start-up pitch competition. The competition, “Dancing With the Start-Ups,” was a fast-paced, Shark Tank-style challenge where 12 start-ups from the health, energy, and financial services sectors had four minutes to sell their companies to a panel of expert judges and an audience of corporate directors.

Judging the competition were:

  • Irene Chang Britt, director of Dunkin' Brands Group Inc. and Tailored Brands Inc.
  • Barbara Duganier, director of MRC Global Inc.
  • John Farrell, national managing partner, Innovation and Enterprise Solutions at KPMG LLP
  • Sri Muthu, Head of Technology for Innovation, R&D, and Accelerator of Wells Fargo & Co.
  • Sonya Sepahban, director of Genomenon Inc. and Cooper Standard
  • Caroline Tsay, director of Rosetta Stone Inc. and Travelzoo Inc.

As directors and C-suite executives well know, the future success of an organization often lies in its ability to adapt to change when traditional business models of the past are disrupted by start-ups. The impetus for introducing “Dancing With the Start-Ups” to the NACD Global Board Leaders’ Summit agenda was to showcase the fresh ways in which high-growth companies are innovating - and to lay the foundation for potential partnerships.

To bring this competition to life, NACD partnered with KITE and KPMG LLP. KITE uses software and services to help leading agencies, brands, and media companies find the best emerging technology partnerships with unprecedented speed, scale, and precision. KPMG sponsored the competition.

“Start-ups play a critical role in solving tomorrow’s challenges. By connecting emerging companies and corporate directors, we hope to foster new ways of working and living and new pipelines to bring in fresh boardroom talent,” said Mark Silva, CEO and founder of KITE.

“Start-ups are increasingly posing a disruption threat to most business models,” said John Farrell, national managing partner of KPMG’s Innovation and Enterprise Solutions. “They are often overlooked because of their small size and seemingly narrow focus. But as we saw in the competition, they become formidable quickly and with amazing agility. They mean business!”

To learn more about the competition, visit www.NACDonline.org/StartUps.

About NACD
The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) empowers more than 17,000 directors to lead with confidence in the boardroom. As the recognized authority on leading boardroom practices, NACD helps boards strengthen investor trust and public confidence by ensuring that today’s directors are well-prepared for tomorrow’s challenges. World-class boards join NACD to elevate performance, gain foresight, and instill confidence. Fostering collaboration among directors, investors, and corporate governance stakeholders, NACD has been setting the standard for responsible board leadership for 40 years. To learn more about NACD, visit www.NACDonline.org. To become an NACD member, please contact Steve Kalan at Join@NACDonline.org or 202-572-2089. If you are already a member, contact your NACD Membership Advisor at MembershipAdvisor@NACDonline.org to ensure that you are receiving the best value from your membership.

About BoostUp
BoostUp helps people save for life's biggest purchases through automated savings, crowdfunding from family and friends, and valuable offers from brand partners towards the purchase of a car or home. BoostUp partners are able to reach consumers early, engage them in a helpful relationship, and target offers to a high conversion audience. A true win-win.

About Disease Diagnostic Group
Disease Diagnostic Group screen, track, and diagnose highly infectious diseases in the developing world through portable, reusable devices. With a drop of blood, our magneto-optical technology can quantitatively diagnose a disease in 1 minute at 1/10th cost and 1/100th limit of detection of current methods. Early detection is key for eradication, saving lives and costs.

About KITE
KITE’s software and services help leading agencies, brands, and media companies to find the best emerging technology partnerships with unprecedented speed, scale, and precision.

About KPMG
KPMG LLP, the audit, tax, and advisory firm, is the U.S. member firm of KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”). KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services. We operate in 155 countries and have more than 174,000 people working in member firms around the world.

About Vital Vio
Vital Vio Inc. designs, engineers, and manufactures lighting systems that offer improved health and financial benefits to our customers. We accomplish this by reducing bacteria and other organisms from at-risk environmental surfaces through our safe, continuous, white light disinfection technology. The Vital Vio systems improve quality and safety and continuously disinfect commercial environments, including hospitals, ambulatory surgery, compounding pharmacies, cleanrooms, public bathrooms, food storage facilities, gyms, and any facility looking to increase their quality standards and reduce their risk.

Media Contact 
Bill Brawner
Brawner Communications