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Most Innovative Companies

Recess

The World's Most Innovative Companies 2016Recess is bringing the networking, mentoring, and pitching aspects of accelerators like Y Combinator to college students nationwide through its one-day festivals, which combine lessons on entrepreneurship with live music from the likes of Diplo and Calvin Harris. The idea is to inspire and help students become entrepreneurs, all the while introducing them to the collaborative, ideas-swapping environment of Silicon Valley--and, of course, providing the entertainment value of a live electronic concert. Launched in 2010 by Jack Shannon and Deuce Thevenow, Recess kicks its events off with "office hours," during which students get to chat with successful startup owners from companies like Lyft and Twitch, and ends each day with a live concert; it also holds a pitching competition for aspirational students, with the champion landing a trip to Silicon Valley to compete with other winners for seed funding. Investors like Marc Cuban, Marc Benioff, and Tim Draper have already invested in a handful of startups that have emerged out of Recess, while the company itself is rapidly expanding: it has brought the festival to more than 20 college campuses, reached 70,000 students, and recently partnered with Live Nation to grow even bigger.
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