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A few weeks ago, Mars Mundy pitched his operating system for the auto repair industry to Salesforce President and Chief Product Officer Bret Taylor during a 40-second elevator ride in 61-story Salesforce Tower. On Wednesday that chat paid off with the $250,000 top prize in Dreampitch —Dreamforce’s elevator pitch contest that makes a startup founder a star.

Mars’ company CarServ beat out two other finalists to win the quarter-million-dollar investment opportunity from Salesforce Ventures, in addition to a launch package from Salesforce AppExchange, a T-Mobile mobile solution package, and trip to the T-Mobile Tech Experience Center in Bellevue, Washington.

Each participant was grilled by a panel of industry leaders and tech experts, including: musician and tech investor Will.i.am; Bloomberg tech reporter Emily Chang; NBA star Andre Iguodala; Guy Oseary, founder of Maverick; and Rebecca Lynn, co-founder and general partner at Canvas Ventures.

Mars was inspired to create CarServ after a car breakdown led to repair hassles. Mars and his team used the Salesforce cloud-application platform Heroku to build a solution that uses data to improve customer engagement while increasing revenue. Judges praised CarServ’s execution abilities, technological innovation, business savvy and culture.

Attendees cheered and waved striped scarves provided by Dreampitch sponsor T-Mobile for Business as Salesforce EVP of Mobile Leyla Seka declared CarServ the winner of Dreampitch 2018, inciting enthusiasm more familiar to a soccer arena than a technology conference.

What started as a breakdown led to a trip to new heights for Mars and a day in the spotlight of some of the world’s best cloud innovation.

Watch as Mars shares his story and see him make his winning Dreampitch:



 

Learn more about Dreampitch here.