Entrepreneurs present startup ideas to investors
A couple dozen entrepreneurs presented their business plans to local investors Tuesday, hoping for their big break into the marketplace.
Ecuadorian tea that serves as an energy drink and an app that helps you locate a plumber near you were among the pitches startup founders made to to more than 100 accredited investors at the National Press Club.
Started in 2004, the angel venture forum has raised more than $16 million since then. Success stories include Protez Pharmaceuticals and Fingerworks, which was later bought by Apple.
“American ingenuity and innovation keeps rolling no matter where the economy stands,” investor Valerie Gaydos said.
This year's entrepreneurs included Asius Technologies that produces headphone technology designed to reduce hearing loss.
“We've made a system that absorbs the damage of personal listening devices and uses those extra pressures to inflate a bubble in the ear, that forms to any ear and fits on hearing aids, all iPod ear buds,” said Stephen Ambrose of the company.
Mobile applications like Urgnt.ly, which connects homeowners with vendors on demand, were popular. Rick Fleisher got the idea for the company when his dishwasher broke and flooded a third of his house.
“You can search and find plumbers let's say, but they may not come they may not be available so I thought what if you could use location and search to get what you need,” he said.
Two 20-somethings presented an idea for producing runa tea, an organic Amazonian tree leaf brewed for centuries by indigenous people in Ecuador.
“It's interesting, it's more caffeinated than any tea product and is double the antioxidants of any green tea, so the experience is more of a focused energy,” Tyler Gage said.
The economy might be unpredictable, but investors say you can get a lot of bang for your buck if you play your cards right.
“You have to be really careful about the investment, how much they're putting into the company, how much they're trying to raise and trying to manage that process,” said Rick Kohr, head of Evergreen Advisors.
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