_MG_0304This sponsored post is produced by Universal McCann.

On April 17, Universal McCann, a global media agency, invited members of the media and tech communities to support and celebrate the growth of entrepreneurship in the Bay Area by hosting a fundraising event for the annual UC Berkeley Startup Competition (Bplan) at the Walter A. Haas School of Business.

For decades, “innovation” has been part of the DNA that defines the San Francisco Bay Area — that desire to change and transform the way things are — and a key driving force behind how organizations and individuals here make decisions and grow. It has always been a region known for pioneers, for dreamers who have forged new paths, and for those who continuously ask questions like “what if?” and “why not?”

But it’s the way different organizations, individuals, and communities all come together that makes the work this region produces world-class. To celebrate this unique ecosystem Universal McCann has supported the UC Berkeley Startup Competition (Bplan) at the Walter A. Haas School of Business for the past four years.

In true Bay Area fashion, we invited members of the media, brand marketing, press, startup, tech, and academic communities for an evening of celebrating the entrepreneurs of the Bplan competition, and toasting the work that we have all been able to achieve collectively.

The Startup competition is one of the foremost events for budding entrepreneurs – a forum that provides key resources, including education, networking, team creation, mentorship, and new venture financing to help turn innovative ideas into real businesses. This year marked the school’s 15 annual competition.

Supporting innovation is not just an annual initiative for UM, but a year-round investment. UM has developed a unique program, bringing together an ecosystem of startups, VCs, publishers, and their agency team to evolve each respective practice and adapt to the changing media landscape. At this intersection between Madison Avenue savvy and Silicon Valley dreams, you’ll find what has affectionately come to be called Mad Valley.

Programming for the event included products and services of the Mad Valley resident companies. Attendees scanned their fellow partygoers with the MyVegas app to win prizes, Britelite Immersive created an interactive display wall, and Pixlee pushed all #UM4Haas photos from Instagram and Twitter onto the screens. There was also an opportunity to listen to radio stations from around the world at the TuneIn demo station.

We believe this is the type of collaboration worth supporting and that it is imperative in ensuring what the future of innovation looks like here in the San Francisco Bay Area.

To learn more about Universal McCann’s efforts in integrating the tech, startup, and media communities, please visit www.madvalleysf.com.

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