April 26, 2010

Portland FundingUniverse CrowdPitch – April 22, 2010

This was our fourth CrowdPitch in Portland. With each event the crowd is more engaging, the pitching entrepreneurs sharper, and the judges more rigorous. Weather was beautiful, room was full, what more could I ask for?

All our presenters were strong (*whew). I had to cut a few of them off at the 4-minute mark, but most made it. Here’s a quick recap of who pitched:

  • Bodhi Tree Denim – online retailer of custom made designer jeans for women.
  • Cha Dao Tea Company – Cha Dao markets and manufactures a line of fresh bottled teas.
  • Park and Restroom Structures – designs & manufactures prefabricated shower, concession, and utility buildings for municipal customers.
  • Sweet Spot Diabetes – Their software retrieves, analyzes, manages, and distributes the data required to support diabetic care.
  • Black Tonic – a simple way to deliver web-based remote presentations in real-time.

The panel was supportive and had good questions/comments. The food was organic from a local deli. Cha Dao Tea Company was the runaway winner. The concensus was that they had a great product, market presentation, and traction. As you can see from my interview with Ghim, they’re already well on their way to success.

April 9, 2010

FundingUniverse CrowdPitch Presenter videos

Meet HighPoints Learning & regreet, two of our presenters from the GROWCO/FundingUniverse CrowdPitch last month in Orlando. Congratulations to HighPoints Learning on winning $50,000 of business services! And congratulations to regreet who, although they didn’t win, got a funding offer from one of the panelists.

March 3, 2010

A tale of two entrepreneurs, we saw the best of pitches, we saw the worst of pitches…

The Best of Pitches

Got Restless Leg Syndrome? Soon you’ll be able to treat it with infrared light instead of medication. All thanks to the exposure, advice, and prize package provided by FundingUniverse’s CrowdPich event! (and TranquilMed who won)

In all seriousness, TranquilMed won praise from both the panel of experts and audience by showcasing

  1. A great product that uses infrared light to treat restless leg syndrom (as opposed to medications)
  2. An amazing presentation
  3. A reasonable equity offering for investors

Here’s a summary of what the panel of experts had to say:

  • Gary Williams: “You guys nailed the presentation. Is this a product or a company? I like the product, but need to know more about the company.”
  • Steve Grizzell: “Tell me more about who conducted your clinical trial. For all I know you strapped a TV remote to your leg & packaged it in a nice box. How can I trust you?”
  • John Richards: “Who is going to lead sales? You need someone who has 10 years+ experience in enterprise sales.”

The audience selected TranquilMed as the winner by investing the most ‘FUN’ money in them. TranquilMed won $9,300 of services from our sponsors:

  • SEO.com: 10 hours or seo work = $1,500 value
  • NOWAdvisors: 12 hours of financial & accounting services = $1,800 value
  • FundingUniverse: startup services = $2,500 value
  • Qqest: 4 months payroll services = $2,000 value
  • CLI Law – $1,000 of legal services = $1,000 value
  • Amazon: web services = $500 value

The Worst of Pitches

In addition to TranquilMed (who did a fabulous job), we also had a presentation that received some critical feedback! John Richards – on our panel of experts – had the courage to say what everyone else was thinking: “I hate to be brutal, but your presentation was so boring that I didn’t even listen to your deal. I’m sorry, but you need to have energy & enthusiasm.” John is tough because he loves entrepreneurs. And we love John because his stinging comments always give us something to write about.