Home » Louisville’s GearBrake wins entrepreneur pitch competition

Louisville’s GearBrake wins entrepreneur pitch competition

Developed specialized brake light system for motorcycles

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 13, 2014) — Three Kentucky entrepreneurs have received a significant boost to grow their businesses.

GearBrake, based in Louisville, took home the grand prize in the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development’s inaugural entrepreneur pitch competition finals Thursday at the Kentucky Angel Investors Summit in Frankfort.

Chris Bailey (middle) founder and CEO of GearBrake

Second-place went to Rely-A-Light and third-place to Blink Technologies.

“This is just another example of how Kentucky is helping to grow our small business community,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “We had a great competition, and all corners of the state were represented.”

GearBrake has developed a specialized brake light system to better protect and alert motorcyclists. Motorcycles are able to rapidly slow down without using brakes by downshifting and engine braking, but other drivers cannot detect this because downshifting doesn’t light up a bike’s brake lights. GearBrake’s patent-pending module can sense deceleration and will automatically flash the brake lights.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, one extra second of warning time can prevent up to 90 percent of rear-end collisions. GearBrake provides as many as five seconds of extra warning.

“The local and national buzz surrounding the competition has been amazing, and we’re looking forward to taking the next steps toward putting our product on the market,” said Chris Bailey, founder and CEO of GearBrake.

Eight entrepreneurs from Ashland, Covington, Lexington, Elizabethtown, Louisville, Murray, Pikeville and Richmond competed in the finals. The participants, who won their regional pitch competitions earlier this year, presented their business ideas to the Kentucky Angel Investors Network (Kentucky Angels).

Each entrepreneur had five minutes to present his or her business idea to the audience. Voting was based on one question, “how viable is the business concept?”

GearBrake received the highest score and a $5,000 prize toward growing the business. The second and third place finishers also took home cash prizes.

Based in Richmond, Rely-A-Light developed a multi-function table lamp that provides instant emergency light during a power outage. The lamp also acts as cellphone and tablet charging station.

Blink Technologies, based in Lexington, developed the BlinkScan, a high resolution digital scanning technology so that every pixel sees every color, making each scan a “full color” image.