Venture Connectors announces 2016 Venture Sharks finalists

Entrepreneurs to compete for $23,000 prize package during the May 4 final round of the 7th annual regional business competition 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 14, 2016) – Venture Connectors has selected four startups to compete in the final round of its 7th annual Venture Sharks™ competition on Wednesday, May 4. Entrepreneurs seeking funding for their business plans will fend for themselves against a panel of savvy investor sharks fishing for the next great deal.

vc1The finalists are:

• CompassioNote: Helps companies have better relationships with their customers by using personalized data.

• Farm Specific Technology: Produces farm equipment used to manage cover crops and get rid of pesky weeds.

• Switcher Studio: Develops easy-to-use and affordable live video streaming tools that allows users to create TV-style productions for the web.

• Uncrash: Helps auto body shops organize their work and connect customers to the repair process.

This year, Venture Connectors more than 40 applications from entrepreneurs across the region. The Venture Sharks committee chose the top ideas for the first round of the competition, held April 13. During that event, the field was narrowed to four finalists. The final round will be held on May 4 during the monthly Venture Connectors’ luncheon meeting at the Muhammad Ali Center, 144 N. Sixth St. Networking begins at 11:30 a.m., and the meeting starts promptly at noon.

For the final round May 4, presenters will be allowed a few minutes to describe their idea to the judges, who then will fire off questions to the presenters in the style of the popular television show, “Shark Tank.” One lucky survivor will receive $23,000 in cash and prizes to help them take their idea to market. The Venture Sharks winner will be selected based on the viability of their idea, the ability of the final award to positively impact the business and the quality of their presentation. The winner must agree to use both the cash award and the in-kind services to directly pursue the business opportunity presented in the competition.

This year’s prize is more than double the amount of past years, thanks to our generous sponsors. In addition to the main prize, five past winners have pooled their resources and will offer a $250 cash prize to the finalist of their choosing on May 4. Logjustrips, Revio (formerly GearBrake), Wicked Sheets, U.S. Chia and Surgical Serenity Solutions may award their special prize to a competitor other than the winner named by the judges.

Sponsors for this year’s Venture Sharks include: Commonwealth Seed Capital and the University of Louisville College of Business, gold sponsors; ARGI Financial, silver sponsor; and Mightily, Stoll Keenon Ogden, Nucleus and McCrorey Digital, in-kind sponsors.

Judges for the final round are: Bob Saunders, general partner, OCAVentures; Elizabeth Rounsavall, director of research and analytics, Chrysalis Ventures; Lou Kelmanson, president, Kelmanson Holdings LLC; and Vik Chadha, managing director, GlowTouch Technologies.

RSVPs to the luncheon are required at: www.ventureconnectors.org. The event is free to full members, $30 for associate members and $40 for nonmembers.

About Venture Connectors

Venture Connectors is an incorporated, not-for-profit organization, originally formed in 1995 as the Venture Club of Louisville. Venture Connectors’ goal is to connect entrepreneurs, investors, service providers, inventors, academics, practitioners, technologists, students and business experts together to increase the number and quality of new ventures launched from this region. Events include monthly luncheons and the annual Venture Sharks™ competition. Anyone interested in making valuable contacts, exchanging information or pursuing mutual business opportunities is welcome to attend a Venture Connectors event. For more information, visit www.ventureconnectors.org.

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