Venture Connectors received more than 30 applications from entrepreneurs across the region. The Venture Sharks selection committee chose the top eight ideas for the first round of competition, which was held during a closed pitch session on Sept. 24. The four finalists were selected based on the viability of their business, the quality of their presentation and the impact the Venture Sharks prize could have on their company. They are:
- Borderless, an online bank payment processor enabling affordable and direct digital payments from anywhere in the world without the need for foreign bank accounts.
- BrainSTEM, an educational tech startup that provides in-person and virtual learning via a proprietary virtual learning environment and social network that allows students to participate in STEM classes, projects and clubs.
- CASPER Security, a company that helps municipalities protect first responders and neighbors from vacant and abandoned property disasters through rapid deployments of a proprietary, solar-powered home security system.
- Pav*r, an integrated productivity tool that leverages calendar data to help users get more done in less time.
During the final round, presenters will be allowed a few minutes to describe their idea to the judges, who then will fire off questions to the presenters in the style of the television show, “Shark Tank.” One lucky survivor will receive a prize package designed to help them take their idea to market, including a $5,000 cash award, one-on-one mentoring from established entrepreneurs and advisors, as well as in-kind services provided by Open i Advisors and other sponsors. Venture Connectors is partnering with Open i Advisors for operational management of the competition.
The package includes startup coaching and one-on-one mentoring in key areas, such as strategic planning, product/market fit, software development, marketing and promotion, financial advising and modeling, capital fundraising and legal structuring.
Thanks to all the semifinalists who presented, and thank you to our prelims judges Zack Pennington, Mary Tapolsky and Raechele Gray!
Our Oct. 7 finals event will be held via Zoom from noon-1 p.m. and is open to the public. It is free to Venture Connectors members and $10 for guests. To jump in the water with the Sharks, register here.