She worked as a product manager Google for two years and tells CNBC that she had started to apply to its internal startup incubator, Area 120, but ultimately decided to take her idea outside the company instead. Since Google created Area 120 roughly two years ago, it has launched a handful of apps, but Enthoven knew she wouldn’t learn as much about recruiting or scaling if she stayed within the tech giant.

Plus, building something that’s already owned by Google isn’t as sexy as potentially getting bought by Google some day, even if you have to forgo free lunches and steady paychecks in the meantime.

“Startups are risky, but there is a great upside if you’re successful,” Enthoven says. “With Area 120, there doesn’t seem to be a great upside.”

Last week’s event was Xoogler’s second demo day in the Bay Area. It’s also held one in London, and has upcoming plans for Los Angeles and Singapore, too.

Presentations at the most recent event had a strong artificial intelligence and blockchain bent, with applications as varied as boat chartering, fertility tracking, and voice journaling. The network doesn’t track how many startups get funding due to its demo days, but half a dozen founders and investors told CNBC that they’d set up one or more meetings following the event.



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