Robin Rowe hosted the pitchfest at WeWork Playa Vista on Tuesday, July 17th, 2018, 6pm to 8pm.
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Recap added, posted after the event…
Thanks, everyone! Full house. We had about 80 people. Great event at WeWork Playa Vista!
Special thanks to Christine, Chris and Sky at WeWork. Recruiter Dino Cruz won the drawing of a free month of hot desk at the new WeWork Culver City. Thank you WeWork!
All the pitches had value. Thank you startup presenters! You are great!
- Drain Sensui had the strongest pitch, based on audience feedback. Drain Sensui is an ultrasonic IoT sensor that replaces the access cap on a home sewer line and reports any problems via Wi-Fi. A comment was it has the most defensible market. A business suggestion, partner sales with insurance companies. Make purchase a stipulation for a home owner insurance discount. An insurance company makes a better partner because selling through rooters or builders is a much more fragmented market. With an incident repair cost as high as $40k, insurers are motivated.
- Coin Squad is tech support for crypto investors. An audience question, what about the new competing service for crypto cold storage and support from Coindesk? Frederick said their competition is much more costly than Coin Squad and doesn’t offer the same level of personal service.
- Fitforbucks is the app that rewards personal fitness with a free cup of coffee at a cafe. According to Gennedy, competing with paid ads at places like Yelp, which have a very low conversion rate to foot traffic. His pricing model is to charge a fee for new customers showing up to a store. Seems like Groupon for a fitness crowd.
- Brickathegame is a mobile app word game that came be played alone or against other players. As with any freemium biz model, a concern is customer acquisition cost. Many game companies are paying a lot to get eyeballs on their games, with no assurance it will be a hit. However, there’s always room for another great game.
- Earnster is a way to reward kids for doing their chores. Candace showed a grid comparison of competitors, with Earnster being better on features and price.
- Checkplis is a pay-by-phone app for restaurants. No more waiting for the check. Unfortunately, Abner had to speak without his presentation because of technical difficulties connecting his laptop to the projector.
Statistically speaking, it takes 50+ pitches before a CEO suceeds in raising funds for his or her startup. The point of presenting at a pitchfest is not to immediately land an investor. While investors do sometimes show up, incognito, at our events, I have yet to see one whip out a checkbook. The good news if you’re a presenter, only 49 pitches to go. And, there’s plenty to be learned by watching others pitch.
I typically lead the Sunday startups Open Coffee meetups. Join us any Sunday at 10am at Panera in Santa Monica. I am one of the hosts for the pitchfest. New Tech founder Marina is traveling, is in London hosting the meetup there. New Tech has chapters in Santa Monica, London and Paris.
For anyone who wants to reach me, connect with me on LinkedIn.
Five startups will be giving 5-minute pitches and Q&A. You will introduce yourself, describe your company, listen to the pitches, and afterwards say which stood out and why, maybe make a few suggestions for improvement. There’s no prize, just for fun and visibility. Free and open to the public. Last time about 100 people came.
- 6:00pm Check-in, meet and greet with Robin Rowe
- 6:30 1. Frederic Rough, Coin Squad: Crypto investor tech support
- 6:40 2. Abner Flores, Checkplis: Mobile app for restaurant POS
- 6:50 3. Gennadiy Kats, Fitforbucks: Fitness rewards from local merchants
- 7:00 4. Milind Waikul, Drain Sensei: Sewer monitoring with IoT
- 7:10 5. Mark Andrews, Brickathegame: Sliding tile word search game for iOS
- 7:20 6. Candice Walker, Earnster: Teens earn while doing family tasks
- 7:30 Networking
- 8:00 Goodnight