As I’ve written about previously, this past Friday was the ITEN Elevator Pitch Intensive event. The goal was to bring together young startup companies in the St. Louis area and begin building a sense of the local startup community. Also, we hoped to give these new founders some practice doing their company pitch and an opportunity for some constructive feedback.
I think we scored success on all accounts. Turnout was better than expected, with about 20 companies coming to pitch (including several unexpected walk-ins) and about 70 people in attendance overall.
I helped Jean Roberson from Appistry lead one group of four companies. We had each founder do their pitch (with a timer), provided feedback, and then they did it again. At the end of this part everyone in the group ranked the other pitches and we tallied two winners from our group. Each of the groups did this and we selected eight overall winners to pitch to the group as a whole. The quality was great and apparently many of the groups (like ours) saw close scores and tough choices. So many of those that missed presenting to the final group were just as qualified.
I don’t have a complete list of companies attending but here is a partial list that I know of (bold pitched in the final event):
- Q-Up Mobile Systems
- DG Innovations
- Benefit Bar
- Sassy Pink Peppers
- Tesseract Squared
- FactoryIT – the runner-up!
- Aisle 411
- Quixit – help me if this is spelled wrong!!
- SmartGadgets – the winner of the pitch event!
(If I missed anyone or there are URLs I should link here, drop them in the comments or send me an email.)
I was really impressed by the quality of the pitches and ideas in general both in my group and in the final pitch-off. It was exciting to see so many people putting their ideas out there and forming companies to turn those ideas into reality.
I had a great time talking with and meeting people at the event and afterwords at the Tap Room. For feedback, announcements of future events, or just shooting the breeze, please join the St. Louis IT Startups Google Group. You can also find a great writeup from attendee Dave Blankenship and a flickr photo stream for even more info.
Many, many thanks to Jim Brasunas and mentors from ITEN, Willem Bakker of TEC, event support from BusyEvent (also a local startup), and everyone who attended to make the event a success. See you next time!