At Venture Connectors' August lunch, two leading social entrepreneurs shared the ins and outs of B Corporations and the benefits of legally recognizing them in Kentucky. B Corps are for-profit businesses that include a social component to their mission, and becoming a B Corp requires a rigorous certification process coordinated through the nonprofit B Lab. Speakers Scott Koloms, president and CEO of Facilities Management Services Inc. (FMS) and Ben Reno Weber, chief storyteller for MobileServe, talked about how and why both their companies decided to become B Corps.
Venture Connectors is pleased to announce Toggle Health has been named the winner of our 8th annual Venture Sharks™ competition. Toggle Health is a manufacturer of a patented device that connects surgeons to their pre-operative and mobile data from the sterile field of the operating room.
The final round of competition was held on May 3, where five entrepreneurs seeking funding for their business plans faced off with a panel of savvy investor sharks fishing for the next great deal.
Venture Connectors has chosen nine semifinalists to compete in the preliminary round of our 8th annual Venture Sharks™ business competition on Wednesday, April 12, at the Muhammad Ali Center, 144 N. Sixth St. Doors open at 5 p.m., and pitches begin at 5:30 p.m. During the event, all nine 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 more than $37,000 in cash and prizes at Venture Connectors’ regular monthly lunch on Wednesday, May 3, also at the Muhammad Ali Center.
Thanks to generous sponsors, Venture Connectors has increased the prize for our eighth annual Venture Sharks™ business competition to more than $37,000 in cash and services, topping last year’s prize of $23,000. In addition, a new Audience Participation Crowdfunding Campaign will award a separate prize to a company chosen by the audience via a text message vote during the Venture Sharks finals. You can donate online or in person at upcoming Venture Connectors events. Early-stage startups and entrepreneurs in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and Tennessee are invited to submit applications before midnight on March 22. Donate here or apply here.
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.