Tech All Stars and Investment-Hungry Startups Rub Elbows at OASIS Summit in Santa Monica

SXSW isn’t the only heavy-hitter tech conference attracting techies around the world this week. A smaller, slightly more glamorous tech con is going on at this time in the heart of L.A.’s Silicon Beach. It’s called the Oasis Summit. Maybe you’ve heard about it.

The event is completely swing now in its second trip to the historic oceanfront Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica. There, above the scenic Pacific Ocean bluffs where big screen bombshells Marilyn Monroe and Greta Garbo once rented lavish bungalows, senior-level investors, thought leaders and tech executives are power networking with corporate media, scrappy startups and, very appropriately, a small number of entrepreneurial Hollywood stars.

The function, which kicked off with cocktails last Tuesday night, might possibly not have each of the cool factor entertainment extras of the year’s SXSW — Imagine Dragons, Pitbull, Seth Myers, and the list continues on — nonetheless it certainly includes a decent amount of capital raising cash shared.

Related: Great Methods to Network at SXSW Oasis wraps tonight using what most attendees have already been looking forward to — a Shark Tank-inspired contest called “Moneyball.” Your competition pits three hot startups against one another for the grand prize of $500,000 to $1 million VC money, including $100,000 initial investment from the summit’s founder serial investor James Montgomery pledged to throw in himself.

The three finalists vying for Moneyball’s spoils are:

  • Bridg, a Los Angeles-based marketing automation upstart that serves smaller businesses

  • Vow to be Chic, a Santa Monica-based online designer bridal dress rental service

  • Deep Forest Media, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based mobile advertising firm

Conference organizers are billing your competition as “the largest-prized business competition ever held.” We’re uncertain how valid that lofty claim is, but we can say for certain that only among the three competing early-stage companies will capture the interest — and a lot of money of — Oasis’s top venture investor judges (Michael Abbot of Kleiner Perkins, Jim Armstrong of March Capital Partners and Matt McCall of Pritzker Group CAPITAL RAISING). Each judge could have the chance to spend money on the victor in $5,000 increments.

Related: Mike Jones on Ditching La La Land For Silicon Beach

A-List Speakers Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt took center stage alongside Jared Cohen, the tech giant’s director of ideas, at the summit yesterday. Together they took part in a lively keynote interview (and requisite selfie) with Bloomberg West TV anchor Emily Chang.

Spiritual guru Deepak Chopra and Mara Group founder Ashish Thakkar shared the stage at the two-day tech star-studded conference earlier today, rigtht after tech legend Paul Maritz, formerly of Microsoft and Intel and current leader of San Francisco-based software company Pivotal.

John Chen, BlackBerry’s ceo, also spoke at the summit today. Golden Globe-nominated actress Jessica Alba and her business partner Brian Lee, co-founder of LegalZoom and Shoedazzle, were also readily available this afternoon to speak about e-commerce and The Honest Company, their popular online retail business that specializes in non-toxic high-end baby products.

Related: 3 Hot Tech Startups BURNING L.A.’s ‘Silicon Beach’

Fertile ground for future success The Oasis Summit, formerly referred to as the Montgomery Technology Conference, got its begin in 2004. Past startups to make use of the conference’s apparently very effective high-level networking that rose to household name status include Pandora, Twitter and Facebook, based on the LA Times.

Some 1,200 participants from all over the world are in Oasis, which includes 145 startups vying to improve capital with some 400 tech executives and 400 investors from around the world, based o