By Brittany Dunnigan and Lupe Hirt
The room was buzzing with excitement as ten startup teams prepared to pitch their businesses for the chance to win cash prizes and advance in THE CLIMB | Jake Jabs Business Plan Competition.
At THE CLIMB Collegiate and Community Pitch Night on Oct. 13, 2016, six collegiate and four community start-up teams presented their elevator pitches to a panel of distinguished local judges and a live audience at Galvanize’s Platte campus in Denver, Colo.
The teams selected to present that evening included both collegiate and community startup companies looking to launch or support their businesses. The featured industries varied from food and beverage, technology products, climbing holds, and even cricket-based protein products. Each team presented a two-minute pitch on stage followed by three minutes of questions from the judging panel.
The prestigious panel of judges for the evening included Jake Jabs, CEO of American Furniture Warehouse and namesake of the Jake Jabs Center of Entrepreneurship; Matt Jonsen, Dorsey law firm associate; and Rodman Schley, CEO of 9-Ball Studios and BBG & Urban Conversion PBS television show host. Emcee for the event was Wende Curtis, owner of Comedy Works in Denver.
For the first time in the competition’s 15-year history, the audience was able to pick two winners through the mobile voting application BrainSpire during the event in addition to the judge’s top two choices. By the end of the evening, a common theme percolated, elevating the competition’s two libations companies to the winner’s circle. BARVENTURE claimed the top spot in both the Judge’s and People’s Choice collegiate categories. In the community startup category, Lithic Nutrition’s unique cricket-powered protein took the judge’s top vote while another libations contender, BarMade, cinched People’s Choice. Here is the complete list of Pitch Night winners:
Judge’s Collegiate Winner: BARVENTURE – $3,000
Judge’s Community Winner: Lithic Nutrition – $2,000
People’s Choice Collegiate Winner: BARVENTURE – $1,000
People’s Choice Community Startup Winner: BarMade – $1,000
All collegiate and community startup winners at Pitch Night automatically advance to THE CLIMB Semi-Finals on Thursday, Nov. 10. Here is the complete list of teams chosen to advance to the semi-finals:
BARVENTURE – Neighborhood bar guide
Kiddin’ – Solar-activated designs for shoes
PassKey – RFID-enabled technology
Pocket Passer – Tailgate game
Solve Climbing – Climbing gym wall holds
Veloce Corporation – Smart drug delivery capsule
BarMade – Consumer bar attendant product
Crossover Technologies – Winter ski binding technology
Lithic Nutrition – Cricket-based protein bars and powder
SquirrelBox – Valet storage in Denver
All 10 semi-finalists will present in front of a panel of judges from 2-4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 10 at Space Gallery [400 Santa Fe Dr., Denver CO 80204]. Each semi-finalist team will present a five-minute business pitch followed by three minutes of questions.
Best of luck to all the teams advancing to THE CLIMB Semi-Finals!
The judges for the Semi-Finals will choose the six teams advancing to the Finals that evening from 6-9 p.m. Both events are open to the public. The Semi-Finals event is free to attend by registering here; however, a purchased $50 per person ticket is required for the Finals event, which includes dinner and beverages.
To register for the FREE Semi-Finals Pitch event, please click here.
To purchase a ticket for Finals, please visit THE CLIMB | Finals.