Ever wanted to go behind the scenes of Louisville restaurants? Venture Connectors did just that at our March 8 luncheon with an exciting panel of local restaurateurs. Moderated by food writer Steve Coomes, the panel featured prominent restaurant owners Fernando Martinez, Susan Hershberg and Chad Coulter, who discussed the restaurant landscape both in Louisville and nationally. They shared successes in the marketplace as well as challenges in a competitive culinary city and what the future holds for independent restaurants. The panelists also offered thoughts on current threats facing restaurant operators and insights into what makes them and their restaurants tick.
Applications for our eighth annual Venture Sharks business competition will open Monday, Feb. 6! Early-stage companies and entrepreneurs are invited to compete for a $15,000 prize — roughly $5,000 in cash and $10,000 in professional services — provided by the competition’s sponsors. Sponsorship commitments received to date include Commonwealth Seed Capital, University of Louisville College of Business, Mightily and Nucleus. The prize package may increase as additional sponsors commit.
At our November lunch, Colleen Clines, co-founder and CEO of Anchal Project, shared how the organization addresses the exploitation of women around the world by using design thinking to create employment opportunities, products and services that support economic empowerment.
Design thinking is a method for practical, creative problem-solving that starts with an end goal, unlike the scientific method, which begins by thoroughly defining the parameters of a problem to create a solution.
Venture Connectors has named Switcher Studio the winner of its 7th annual Venture Sharks™ competition. Switcher Studio develops easy-to-use and affordable live video streaming tools that allows users to create TV-style productions for the web.
The final round of competition was held on May 4, where four entrepreneurs seeking funding for their business plans faced off with a panel of savvy investor sharks fishing for the next great deal.
The other finalists were CompassioNote, which helps companies have better relationships with their customers by using personalized data; Farm Specific Technology, which produces farm equipment used to manage cover crops and get rid of weeds; and Uncrash, which helps auto body shops organize their work and connect customers to the repair process.
Venture Connectors has selected four startups to compete in the final round of its 7th annual Venture Sharks competition on Wednesday, May 4. Entrepreneurs seeking funding for their business plans will fend for themselves against a panel of savvy investor sharks fishing for the next great deal.
The finalists are:
- CompassioNote: Helps companies have better relationships with their customers by using personalized data.
- Farm Specific Technology: Produces farm equipment used to manage cover crops and get rid of pesky weeds.
- Switcher Studio: Develops easy-to-use and affordable live video streaming tools that allows users to create TV-style productions for the web.
- Uncrash: Helps auto body shops organize their work and connect customers to the repair process.
Immigrant entrepreneurs are making significant contributions to the economy, but they face unique barriers to success. On Wednesday, April 6, Venture Connectors hosted a panel of immigrant business owners who have risen above a variety of challenges to reach unparalleled success in the Louisville area and beyond.
Panelists Sundeep “Sunny” Dronawat, Cedric Francois, M.D., and Van Tran shared how they capitalized on their diverse backgrounds, education and skills to establish thriving companies. They also shared how they overcame cultural and linguistic challenges to create jobs and achieve lasting financial viability in the Louisville business climate.
Venture Connectors has chosen 11 semifinalists to compete in the preliminary round of our 7th annual Venture Sharks™ business competition on Wednesday, April 13, at 5:30 p.m. at Chef Space, 1812 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd. Click here to register.
During the event, all 11 entrepreneurs will present their business plans to a panel of savvy investor sharks fishing for the next great deal. The field will be narrowed to four finalists, who will then vie for $23,000 in cash and prizes at Venture Connectors’ regular monthly lunch on Wednesday, May 4, at the Muhammad Ali Center.
This year’s prize is more than double the amount of past years, thanks to our generous sponsors. In addition to the main prize, five past winners have pooled their resources and will offer a $250 cash prize to the finalist of their choosing on May 4. Logjustrips, GearBrake, Wicked Sheets, U.S. Chia and Surgical Serenity Solutions may award their special prize to a competitor other than the winner named by the judges.
Thanks to new in-kind sponsor, Mightily, Venture Connectors is increasing our 2016 Venture Sharks prize to $23,000, up from $10,000 in past years!
Early-stage companies and entrepreneurs from any industry in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and Tennessee are invited to compete in the region’s hottest business competition, modeled after the popular television show, “Shark Tank.” The total prize package includes $5,000 in cash and $18,000 in professional services.
On Wednesday, March 2, Venture Connectors hosted Marty Meyer and Greg Mosley of Louisville-based El Toro, who shared what it takes to move from a startup to a thriving technology firm serving customers across the globe. They also discussed how El Toro is actively shaping the city’s tech landscape and its plans to expand operations both in Louisville and worldwide.
Founded in 2013, El Toro is one of Louisville’s fastest growing firms in digital marketing. El Toro has invented a unique series of technologies that allow customers to precisely target their customers online using banner and display ads. Its patent-pending geolocation technology maps physical addresses to IP address with unprecedented accuracy, without using cookies, and while preserving the privacy of the end user. In 2016, El Toro has plans increase its customer base to 20 countries.
Tech talent in Louisville is a perennial conversation. Are we a tech city? What is holding us back? On Feb. 3, Venture Connectors hosted leaders from Code Louisville and The Software Guild who are working to answer these questions and encourage business leaders in Louisville to help make the city a top destination for tech talent.
Panelists Becky Steele, Rachel McGalliard and Rider Rodriguez shared the state of affairs concerning tech talent in Louisville and challenged members and guests to do their part to make Louisville a tech hub. They also shared statistics on tech talent profiling and recommendations on how to turn out qualified graduates in the technology field.