On Monday, you could have spent five hours immersed in learning about and schmoozing with Louisville’s entrepreneurial community. Velocity’s accelerator celebrated its companies’ graduation from the 100-day program with a demo day the Frazier History Museum, and GLI’s EnterpriseCorp announced its 2014 Hot Dozen companies at the 21c Museum Hotel.
At Demo Day, each of the eight companies delivered their pitches. Each company representative dashed down the aisle to a “theme song” (sorry, I didn’t recognize all of the songs) high-fiving the audience.
Daniel Johnsen kicked off the event with Recovery Station — a protein drink-dispensing kiosk for gyms. Johnsen debuted the first full scale prototype of the machine at the Maker Faire this weekend. He recently won a Vogt Award and has a waiting list of 23 gyms who want the machine.
Bill Burke (who entered to the “Doctor Who” theme song) represented Calculingua, which is a collaborative analytics software. The University of Minnesota will start using his software in some of their classes soon. He’s hoping to hire six people over the next six months.
Entering to “Money” by Pink Floyd, Brian Waters represented findCRA, which matches community banks to nonprofits that need support. The 1977 Community Reinvestment Act requires community banks to reinvest in their local community, and findCRA is a database of nonprofit projects that need funding. So far they have 10 banks registered and 30 projects needing funding and have made five matches.
Soccer Sidekick‘s Ryan Maina entered to “Let’s get it Started” by the Black Eyed Peas. Maina already has sold more than 5,000 of his soccer training devices. During the Velocity program he found a manufacturer to mass produce the balls (he used to have to assemble all of the pieces by hand). The Soccer Sidekick also has been picked up by Dick’s Sporting Goods and Sports Authority.
SpotDY is software that builds solutions to make sense of Big Data; 90 percent of big data are unstructured, and most companies don’t have time to structure their data so they can use it. SpotDY does this and already has 16 clients.
Gary Dorma entered to “The Star Wars Theme” to represent Complete Set, which allows pop-culture collectors to “Show what you have. Find what you need. Buy what you want.” It lets you catalogue your collectibles, put them up for sale and also helps you find pieces missing from your collection. They already have secured some investment and are developing an app that will debut in December.
Zack Pennington of USChia entered to a country song (I have zero knowledge of modern country). USChia has licensed a patented chia seed that is the only chia seed that grows in the U.S. climate. Chia is excellent for horse nutrition. Since entering Velocity, they have tripled their customer base and have customers in every time zone. Their next harvest is next month.
Rafael dos Santos made a grand entrance to some dance music to represent Room in the Moon, a match-making website for landlords and people looking to rent out rooms. Dos Santos, himself a landlord in London, has bootstrapped this enterprise to the tune of $180k and is looking to raise $500k.
Velocity alumni company Alumnify represented by AJ Agrawal came back from the West Coast to share their company’s successes. The website that connects alumni associations to alumni just raised $485K. They currently have 10 university clients.
This was a non-competitive event.
Later in the evening, many of the same people crossed the street to 21c to attend GLI EnterpriseCorp Hot Dozen event. We reported on the winners on Tuesday.
GLI’s President Kent Oyler spoke briefly before the presentations. He said the Hot Dozen companies had to have:
- a management team with relevant experience in the industry working full time
- platforms that are sustainable and have a competitive advantage
- traction in the marketplace
Of the 12 companies,Oyler noted nine were services and three were “hardware” and five of the companies have gone through accelerator programs.