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Southland Update: Pitch winner Sr.Pago in Bay Area this week
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Pablo Gonzalez Vargas

SR.PAGO co-founder Pablo Gonzalez Vargas, who won the Southland pitch-off in June in Nashville, is in San Francisco and Palo Alto this week, recruiting investors, he told VNC today.

The Mexico City-based startup's U.S. company is likely to be headquartered in the Bay Area, if that is where the majority of investment is found, he said.

SrPago offers reloadable debit cards, using advanced-chip technology affording strong security, the company says.

The Southland prize was a contingent offer totaling $110,000, conferred after a vote by a panel of 11 judges who were recruited for the Nashville conference. The on-stage agreement that day was that the Southland investors will invest $10K each after the founders have secured at least $3.9MM from other investors.

The "validation" of the Southland win has been very helpful, Gonzalez Vargas said today. With that bit of tailwind, he said he believes he and co-founder and CTO Antonio Flores Aldama will be successful in recruiting the capital they need from two or three additional investors.

A week ago, Sr. Pago, a mobile point of sale (mPOS) business that offers prepaid debit products for use by the underbanked in Mexico and the U.S., announced it had closed a $1MM seed round. Investors aboard include Silicon Valley startup denizens Jay Adelson and Barrett Lyon.

Four-year-old Sr.Pago partners with Mastercard and with Mexico-based Te Creemos. It plans to launch a new offering in Mexico in about two weeks, relying heavily on the push provided by partnering multi-channel marketing organizations. Its advisors currently include attorneys with Goodwin Procter and their PR in the US is handled by Racepoint Global.

The 11 judges for the Southland competition were:

- Tige Savage, Revolution Ventures (D.C.)
- Josh Kopelman, First Round Capital (San Fran/NYC)
- Kirsten Green, Forerunner Ventures (San Fran)
- Shervin Pishevar, Sherpa Ventures (San Fran)
- Kevin Colleran, General Catalyst (Cambridge)
- Paul Judge, Barracuda Networks (Atlanta)
- Zach Ware, Project100 (Las Vegas)
- Erik Moore, Base Ventures (San Fran)
- Peter Barth, The Iron Yard (S.C.)
- Vic Gatto, Solidus/Jumpstart Foundy (Nashville)
- Michael Goldstein, SwitchPitch (D.C.)

The judges who selected companies that gained slots in the Southland Startup Village, according to LaunchTN staff:

- Sarah Lacy, Pando
- Paul Carr, Pando (with some input from other writers)
- David Cummings, Atlanta
- Clay Corman -- AIM Group Alabama
- David Jones - Bull City Venture Partners, North Carolina
- Peter Barth - The Iron Yard, South Carolina
- Charlie Crawford - Chrysalis Ventures, Louisville
- Jack Studer - Lamp Post Group, Chattanooga
- Chris Schultz - Voodoo ventures - New Orleans
- Nicole Winokur - GE Ventures - Chicago
- George Yu - Variable Inc - Chattanooga
- Chris Quintero - Bolt - Boston
- John Murdoch - Nashville Entrepreneur Center
- Sheldon Grizzle - BlankSlate, etc.
- With some further input from various Pando Daily writers

Related: LaunchTN, which co-produced Southland with Pando Daily, reported to its board of directors June 17 that it has begun reviewing financial and other results of the Southland Conference, to determine on what terms it would partner with Pando, going forward. LaunchTN officers told the board they thought the conference had generated exposure of substantial value to Tennessee. VNC

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Tags: Angels, Bull City Venture Partners, David Jones, enterpreneurs, Goodwin Procter, investors, LaunchTN, media, Pablo Gonzalez Vargas, Pando, Pando Daily, pitches, Racepoint Global, Southland, SrPago, startups, Tennessee Technology Development Corporation, TTDC

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