Crowdz selected among 24 startups for Plug and Play Spring 2017

SUNNYVALE, Calif., 2017-Apr-06 — /EPR Network/ — Plug and Play Tech Center, the world’s largest combined global technology accelerator and venture fund, has announced the selection of Crowdz, a San Jose-based startup, as one of only 24 elite startups accepted into Plug and Play’s Spring 2017 Brand & Retail Innovation Platform.

Crowdz, co-founded and led by 20-year Cisco supply-chain veteran Payson E. Johnston, is pioneering the use of machine learning, blockchain, and smart-contract technology in retail and manufacturing sectors, building what Johnston describes as “SMART Transaction Networks™—the world’s first self-executing supply chains.”

A.I. for the Supply Chain™

Johnston, whose startup is initially targeting companies in the United States and East Asia, explains that “What we’re creating at Crowdz is really ‘A.I. for the supply chain’—automated data processes and networks that accelerate sourcing and supply and synchronize supply and demand throughout clients’ supply networks.”

The need for supply-chain automation is intense, Johnston says, pointing out that companies around the world are currently losing more than $2.7 trillion each year due to pervasive supply-chain inefficiencies, leading to costly excess inventory levels, stock-outs, and lost global-trade opportunities.

“If Crowdz can help eliminate even a small percentage of these inefficiencies,” says Johnston, “that represents billions of dollars in value for businesses worldwide. We believe that this provides enormous growth opportunities for leading technology innovators like Crowdz.”

Plug and Play: the Ultimate Startup Platform

Plug and Play is known as the “the ultimate startup platform”—and for good reason. Its track record of success includes such sector-leading tech giants like PayPal and Dropbox.

“Overall, since its inception in 2013, the Plug and Play Brand & Retail Innovation Platform has helped launch more than 100 leading startups in the industry,” says Michael Olmstead, VP Corporate Partnerships at Plug and Play. “In the past three years alone, the program has generated eight acquisitions and over 50 pilots within the roster of participants.”

The mission of the Plug and Play Brand & Retail Innovation Platform is to recruit the most forward-thinking startups to help solve particularly vexing challenges facing brands and retailers today—from point-of-sale to deep into the supply chain.

The current selection process for brand and retail participants began six months ago with more than 1,000 candidate companies. Crowdz was one of just 24 participants in this Spring’s Brand & Retail Innovation vertical, ultimately selected by a panel of representatives from world-class retail and branded product firms.

Overall, out of the 8,500 total applicants across nine Plug and Play verticals, Crowdz was one of only 175 companies selected to participate—a mere 2%.

About Crowdz

Sunnyvale, Calif., based Crowdz builds SMART Transaction Networks™—the world’s first self-executing supply chains. Applying artificial-intelligence principles to critical supply-chain challenges, Crowdz accelerates sourcing and supply, enhances supply-chain diversification, and helps synchronize supply and demand through intelligent transaction agents (ITAs) embedded in supply-chain transaction streams. These API-based agents effectively digitize the supply chain, automatically routing goods and materials transactions in real-time to the most reliable, highest-quality, lowest-cost suppliers, thereby enabling companies to rapidly exploit emerging market trends, minimize lost sales, and virtually eliminate excess inventory. For more information, please visit:

About Plug and Play Tech Center

Plug and Play is a global innovation platform. We connect startups to corporations and invest in over 150 companies every year.  Since inception in 2006, our programs have expanded worldwide to include a presence in 22 locations globally giving startups the necessary resources to succeed in Silicon Valley and beyond. With over 6,000 startups and 180 official corporate partners, we have created the ultimate startup ecosystem in many industries. We provide active investments with 200 leading Silicon Valley VCs, and host more than 365 networking events per year. Companies in our community have raised over $5 billion in funding, with successful portfolio exits including Danger, Dropbox, Lending Club, PayPal, SoundHound, and Zoosk. For more information, visit:

Media Contact: Payson Johnston, Crowdz, 1-888-995-1600,

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