Guest Post by Jordan Lessley, Planet Fundraiser.
The evening kicked off with an introduction by the managing director of The Velocity Accelerator program, Instagift founder and Techstars participant Nate Schmidt. Schmidt elaborated on the importance of supporting startup companies and how this Birmingham accelerator program will focus on the growth and progression of 10 start-up companies over a three month period. As of Tuesday evening, Velocity began accepting applications.
Six startup companies pitched to a room full of investors and Innovation Depot supporters for five minutes at a time followed by a short Q&A. Jack West and Walker Beauchamp of Book-It Legal began the pitches by presenting their web platform that will provide attorneys with an outlet to review and connect with 15% of the highest ranked law students nationwide to aid in a variety of projects. The two founders conducted an energized pitch that would set the tone for the rest of the evening.
Following Book-It Legal was Josh Kendrick’s facility maintenance software QuickWork, which allows residents at apartment complexes, employees in large business buildings and employees of hospitals to submit and rate maintenance requests. Kendrick surveyed 386 companies and 9% of these companies use maintenance software. The software has already been adopted by Innovation Depot and aids in making maintenance requests more direct and efficient.
Koyote came next with the tagline, “What’s going on in Birmingham?”. Andrew Petrovics created an app that gives users the ability to avoid crowds, discover new places and take advantage of specials within their city all in real time by use of sensors that detect mobile device signals without collecting personal data. The website claims app users “will never miss happy hour again.” Koyote aims to connect users in Birmingham and eventually other cities nationwide.
Sara Cannon’s productivity app for women, Spruce Planner, is an aesthetically pleasing organizational app that fits any woman’s on-the-go lifestyle. Cannon coined it as “the next big thing in productivity that is defined for women.” Users sign on for a yearly subscription that allows them to stay connected with friends through calendars and a messaging platform, all through a digital interface that is geared towards women.
On The Corner is an app developed by Anthony Coleman and Dave Folk that helps users find local food trucks as well as helps food truck owners to strategically position their trucks based on how many users are in their area. Users are sent push notifications when their favorite trucks are parked within walking distance so that Birmingham residents will never miss a Saw’s sandwich for lunch or a grilled cheese from MELT.
Planet Fundraiser closed the event with a well-executed pitch. Founders Kasey Birdsong and Drew Honeycutt stressed the hassle that comes along with fundraising for all parties involved; merchants, schools, organizations, charities and even donors. The app is essentially a mediating fundraising platform that solves the nationwide problem of raising funds and adds value to local businesses, nonprofits and consumer purchases. Consumers are able to support a cause they are passionate about all while making everyday purchases at local merchants.
Each pitch was as successful as the next and the six startups received an immense amount of exposure. The end of the pitches did not put a close the evening. Drinks were still being poured, conversation was being had, business cards were exchanged and attendees seemed to thoroughly enjoy their evening at Startup Drinks Pitch Night.
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