October 13, 2009

FundingUniverse Social Entrepreneurship CrowdPitch

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FundingUniverse’s next Utah CrowdPitch event will be a little bit different than most.  We will be focusing on social entrepreneurship, and we’re looking specifically for profit-based social ventures that aim to improve our community.  There are two criteria that every pitching company must meet:

1 – You must be a viable, for-profit company

2 – Your business model must benefit the Utah community by solving local social problems, for example:

  • Green energy and environmental solutions
  • Local sustainable agriculture & small-scale agri-products processing
  • Address social and economic problems using private sector approaches as an alternative or complement to non-profit approaches
  • An organization set up to incubate, mentor, and create more for-profit companies run by minority or women entrepreneurs.

The rest of the event will go the same as our other CrowdPitch events

  • Entrepreneurs pitching their business to a panel of experts & a live audience, with feedback from the experts (think “Shark Tank” meets “American Idol”)
  • Everyone “investing” $100 of Monopoly money into the company of their choice
  • The winner will be awarded the opportunity to pitch to Innoventures Capital Partners.
  • It will all be topped off with a free networking luncheon for all in attendance!

We have a great panel of experts set for this event, and if you want to apply to pitch or RSVP as a spectator (both free!) go HERE!

When & Where:

  • November 4th
  • 11:30 am – 1:30 pm MDT
  • Lone Peak & Red Pine Rooms
  • Karen Gail Miller Conference Center
  • 9750 S 300 W
  • Sandy, UT



October 7, 2009

Utah SpeedPitch Event

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This past Tuesday (October 6) FundingUniverse hosted another SpeedPitch event in Utah, with a record number of investors and entrepreneurs in attendance

Investors from The Utah Angels, Staker Ventures, BYU Center for Entrepreneurship, University Venture Fund, Utah Fund of Funds, Innoventures Capital Partners, Park City and Olympus Angels, and Blue Diamond Capital were represented, among others.

During each of nine rounds, the presenting companies had 4 minutes to pitch their idea, followed by 3 minutes of Q&A. The investors voted and the three favorite companies were invited to do a second round of Q&A with the entire group. The companies chosen this time were Zoobies, Dr. Tim’s, and Heated Coating.

The event concluded with a networking luncheon catered by Tucanos Brazilian Grill. It was a great success and we wish everyone the best of luck as they move forward in the funding process!

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October 2, 2009

Vines to Vino

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We recently had the opportunity of working with Monica Beeman to help her secure debt financing for her new company. The company, called Vines to Vino, is Baltimore’s only winemaking establishment where you make the wine! Using grapes from the world’s finest vineyards, you crush, press, barrel, and bottle the wine under the guidance of a master winemaker.

Monica dropped us a line and talked about the positive experience she had with FundingUniverse:

“I found FundingUniverse while searching for a way to connect with angel investors and peer-to-peer funding websites. I quickly called and spoke with Darren Lunt (he made such an impression on me that I will never forget his name!) to ask questions about which level of service I should consider, as I was still unsure of how to structure investments in my business.

I knew I had major obstacles to overcome because I had a bankruptcy 5 years earlier. Darren very bluntly instructed me to consider debt financing, which is what I wanted to pursue anyway. He suggested that I purchase the risk profile report. Having lost my job back in February and living on unemployment (with a newborn baby), I had NO money to purchase this. After begging a family member to borrow the money, I started my process with FundingUniverse and purchased the Risk Profile Report.

I was a little disappointed to read information that I already knew (I stay very current on my credit reports), but I was somehow energized to make the necessary changes to go from an 11% chance of funding to a 90% chance. Once again I was at a speed bump, as I now needed actual cash to make the changes to my personal credit and start building the business credit. I spoke with Jordan in the Finance Dept and we made arrangements for me to start pursuing a microloan to accomplish this.  We did this, understanding that with these changes, I would have a better chance of getting the funding I really need.

I have since secured a $5,000 loan through and have been able to incorporate the business, build a website and print marketing materials, and I am now working with the legal group to dispute the negative information on my credit.  Shortly, I will return to FundingUniverse and re-apply for financing for a larger amount to bring Vines To Vino to operation!”

We wish Monica the best of luck in her new venture!

Check out the website here – http://www.vinestovino.com