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Three startups won top honors at Thursday’s Plug and Play Expo, but only one drew gasps from the crowd of several hundred during its pitch.
That was the reaction after Vama Inc. Chief Financial Officer Ankur Jain demonstrated the safety of its bed bug spray by squirting it into his mouth and drinking it.

Vama CFO Ankur Jain demonstrated the safety of the San Mateo company’s bed bug pesticide by spraying it into his own mouth in a pitch at the Plug and Play Expo on Thursday.

“If I am still here, that proves I am not a bed bug,” Jain joked when he accepted one of three best of show awards, based on voting by investors and media at the Sunnyvale incubator’s pitch competition.

Jain is a former venture investor at Nexus Venture Partners and a former vice president at Blumberg Capital. So he knows more than a little about making an effective pitch.

San Mateo-based Vama is developing pesticides developed by Ravi Pottathil, a former professor at Duke University and former group lead at Roche. They bind to specific receptors that impair insects, with initial products targting bed bugs, honey bee mites and mosquitos.

Vama is led by Montgomery Asset Management founder and CEO Mark Geist and is seeking seed funding.

Source: Silicon Valley TechFlash – Silicon Valley Business Journal

Read the full article -> Would you drink your pesticide product? This Plug and Play Expo winner did