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Venture Connectors announces 2021 Venture Sharks winner Athelo Health

Athelo Health takes home grand prize in 12th annual business pitch competition

LOUISVILLE, Ky.Venture Connectors has named Athelo Health the winner of its 12th annual Venture Sharks™ business pitch competition.

Led by founder Jessica Thurmond, Athelo Health is a B2B SaaS-based mobile application aimed at improving quality of life outcomes for patients with cancer while decreasing costs of service.

The winner was selected during the final round of competition on Oct. 6, where three entrepreneurs seeking funding for their business plans faced off virtually with a panel of savvy investor sharks fishing for the next great deal. Athelo Health was selected based on the viability of its idea, the ability of the competition’s prize to positively impact the business, and quality of its presentation.

Venture Connectors received dozens of applications from entrepreneurs across the region. During the finals, presenters were allowed a few minutes to describe their idea to the judges, who then fired off questions to the presenters in the style of the popular television show, “Shark Tank.”

The winner receives a grand 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, and other in-kind services provided by sponsors.

Venture Sharks’ presenting sponsor is Amplify Louisville. Cash sponsors are Amplify, the Community Foundation of Louisville and PNC Bank. In-kind sponsors include Amplify, MightilyFleur de Lis CommunicationsAckerman CPAs and Frost Brown Todd

Judges for the finals event were Dan Beldy, managing director, Airwing Ventures; Paul Ford, managing principal, DS9 Capital; and John Willmoth, founder and managing partner, Poplar Ventures. 

The other finalists were:

  • Grouper, founded by Chris Wiedmar, is a social messaging platform that connects users and creators based on their interests, hobbies and passions.
  • HBCU Tour, founded by Nasir Jones, is a subscription-based vendor services platform for current and former students of historically black colleges and universities.

 Venture Sharks has awarded more than $100,000 in prizes since it launched in 2010. For more about the competition, visit www.ventureconnectors.org/venturesharks/.

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