In anticipation of the Louisville mini Maker Faire held in conjunction with IdeaFestival later in September, Venture Connectors will host a panel of local “makers” at its Sept. 3 luncheon meeting. Panelists will discuss a brief overview of what the local “Maker Economy” looks like, as well as how the movement is positively impacting the city, its business climate and the lifestyles of its citizens.
Venture Connectors has named Amy Higgs as its manager of communications and administration. Under the leadership of the board of directors, Higgs will execute all membership, marketing, public relations and social media functions for the nonprofit business organization. She will also coordinate and manage all Venture Connectors events. Higgs was selected by the board from a pool of outstanding applicants during a thorough RFP process, conducted earlier this year.
Previously, Venture Connectors contracted with multiple entities for its administrative, website and marketing functions. The board voted to combine these roles into one comprehensive management position to better ensure continuity of operations and maximize resources.
Business professionals who want to swim with sharks without worrying about getting devoured by them should plan to attend the July 9 Venture Connectors evening event, “Sharks Revisited.” All five past winners have become viable, thriving companies since they won the Venture Sharks competition. They have all been invited to come share their progress. Past judges and finalists will also be in attendance.
Since 2010, Venture Connectors has hosted its annual Venture Sharks competition, where entrepreneurs seeking funding for their business plans fend for themselves against a panel of savvy investor sharks fishing for the next great deal. The competition gives presenters just five minutes to describe their idea to a panel of judges who then have five minutes to question the presenters. The lucky survivor receives $10,000 in cash and prizes to help them take their idea to market.
At its June 4 luncheon, Venture Connectors will host an interactive panel discussion featuring three, dynamic women entrepreneurs. Panelists include: Terena Bell, CEO of In Every Language; Kimberly Naisef, founder of Measure CP; and Dayna Neumann, founder of Exsellerator. The panel will be moderated by Suzanne Bergmeister, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the University of Louisville College of Business and chairman of the Venture Connectors board of directors.
Women’s entrepreneurship has become a fundamental economic force in recent years. Women-owned companies represent nearly 37% of all businesses across the globe, according to the Harvard Business Review. Today’s trends indicate that women will be a driving force of entrepreneurial growth in the future. Venture Connectors is pleased to showcase a few influential Louisville businesswomen during an informal Q&A session. Panelists are expected to discuss how they built their successful companies, as well as the challenges they faced along the way.
Congratulations to 2014 Venture Sharks competition winner, Gear Brake, and its founder, Chris Bailey! Gear Brake creates products to help make motorcycle riding safer and more enjoyable. The company’s first product can reduce rear-end collisions by 90%. We are proud to award $10,000 in cash and prizes to Chris and his team so they can take their business to the next level.
Venture Connectors received more than 50 applications from entrepreneurs across the nation for its 5th annual Venture Sharks competition. The Venture Sharks committee chose the top 12 big ideas for the first round of the competition, held April 16 and 17. During those events, the field was narrowed to five finalists. The final “Shark Bait” round was held on May 7 during at the monthly Venture Connectors’ Luncheon Meeting.
Venture Connectors will host the final round of its 5th annual Venture Sharks competition on May 7, where five entrepreneurs seeking funding for their business plans fend for themselves against a panel of savvy investor sharks fishing for the next great deal.
The finalists are:
- Gear Brake, which creates products to help make motorcycle riding safer and more enjoyable. The company’s first product can reduce rear-end collisions by 90%.
- Louisville Fish Co.,which sells live fish, fish on ice and make its own Paddle Fish Caviar. The company partners with Kentucky aquaculture producers, purveyors and distributors.
- Million Dollar Scholar, an ed-tech venture that makes college more affordable for families through a platform that teaches students how to win scholarships.
- Recovery Station, which manufactures, markets and services a kiosk that dispenses customized protein shakes in the convenience of a gym.
- YouSawMe, which has patented a retro reflective vest embedded with 60 custom-color LEDs for runners, bicyclists and anyone wanting to ensure noticeability.
Cuddle Clones Raises $300,000
Jennifer Graham is proving that it’s hard to overestimate the American devotion to house pets. Her startup company, Louisville-based Cuddle Clones LLC, raised $300,000 in its initial offering to investors that ended Monday. Cuddle Clones is an online retailer that sells customized, stuffed-animal replicas of house pets. As Business First previously reported, the company was a finalist in the Venture Connectors Venture Sharks business plan competition in May 2011. Read More….
Business First article on the March Luncheon Crowd funding Panel Discussion. Read More…..