This year’s Vator Splash concluded with a ceremony giving awards to the winners of its small business competition.  The top company was Oakland-based OppSites, which helps coordinate municipal redevelopment plans and policy with interested urban developers  and investors.

This is how OppSites describes their service on their website:

Every municipality has a large number of properties where investment is prioritized and investor risk is reduced. We call these locations, OppSites.

OppSites are not necessarily on the market, and their value may be largely unknown to prospective investors, developers, and even the property owners themselves.
And that’s one of the key features of OppSites:

OppSites empowers cities to designate publicly and privately owned land as opportunity sites, even if they are not for sale, and in doing so, to draw attention to sites that might otherwise go unnoticed.


IMG_3527Judges at Vator Splash said the OppSites offering was unique and could create a new market niche.  OppSites CEO Ian Ross accepted the award.  The second place runner up award went to LA-based EnPlug which offers interactive signage at over 200 retail and public locations.

There was also a separate competition for companies only in Oakland. Two finalists were viewed as both worthy and the judges awarded 2 first prizes for this first OakTown Tech Startup, Competition, one for RockBot, which offers music selection via social media ‘jukebox’ interaction with music systems in bars, restaurants and other public establishments, and one for Back to the Roots, the maker and purveyor of the popular kits for growing oyster mushrooms at home and a new AquaFarm product.

A People’s Choice award went to ShopPad,  which links with eCommerce sites and provides native support for smartphones, tablets and in-store kiosks.

The Award presentations were recorded by Howard Dyckoff of Oakland Local and are available at this YouTube link, as well as a short video where Ian Ross describes OppSites.


A full photo album of pictures from Vator Splash  is available HERE.

IMG_3527 IMG_3519 IMG_3515 Gasrrett Dodge of Rockbot IMG_3500 IMG_3513



Header photo: OppSites team sitting as Enplug presents at Vator Splash.