After Steve Case investment, Iowa City’s Pear Deck sets sights on Google Demo Day

After Steve Case investment, Iowa City’s Pear Deck sets sights on Google Demo Day

How local pitch competitions helped Pear Deck prepare for Steve Case and a national stage After a year of building product and working the pitch and competition circuit, Pear Deck is ready for the spotlight – or rather, spotlights, with four major events in the span of 22 days. Fresh off winning a $150,000 personal investment from AOL co-founder Steve Case and competing in an EdTech pitch-off at South By Southwest last week, the four co-founders are preparing to pitch in Washington D.C. for the Village Capital EdTech Venture Forum on April 1 and Mountain View, Calif. for Google for Entrepreneurs Demo Day on April 2. “We’re pulling in all our favors from friends and family,” co-founder and COO Michal Eynon-Lynch said with a laugh. “We know that the Iowa community has been tremendous in making these opportunities happen.” Pear Deck was founded in January 2014 by Riley Eynon-Lynch, Michal Eynon-Lynch, Dan Sweeney and Anthony Showalter after the four co-founders exited Haiku Learning, which had acquired previous Iowa City startup ActiveGrade. The company created an interactive presentation platform for classrooms that allows teachers to get real-time feedback from students. As former teachers themselves, both Riley and Michal saw how technology could empower more one-to-one interactions between teachers and students. Although Pear Deck had pitched to Case before, when the Rise of the Rest entrepreneurial road trip visited Des Moines last fall, the chance to pitch again was entirely unexpected. Bawte, a Des Moines-based TechStars alum, had won the pitch-off in Des Moines and the opportunity to advance to Austin. But when Bawte had a scheduling conflict, and Pear Deck was already at SXSW for…