By Jason Moxness, Market President, Core Bank
Question: What happens when you put 30 hungry sharks in a room with 10 Entrepreneurs?
Answer: You witness an outpouring of generosity and support for some of KC’s best and brightest creative thought leaders!
Where did all of this happen? I witnessed it first hand at the 3rd Annual Pure Pitch Rally held at the American Restaurant in Crown Center. I was lucky enough to be one of the “Sharks” at the event, helping decide which of the ten well-deserving entrepreneurs I wanted to support. Each of the participants stood in front of an audience of 200 spectators and 30 Sharks. They delivered a well-prepared pitch about a new business idea that they were starting. Their hope was to receive a piece of the $100,000 in cash that was being awarded that night, as well as $500,000 in Amazon Web Services resource credit.
It was a moving experience to see these entrepreneurs pour everything they have into their pitch, and to capture the attention of the audience and the money from the Sharks and donors.
Here’s a brief highlight of who we saw that night:
Sara Baker of FastDemocracy: The startup helps individuals and advocacy groups be more effective and informed when advocating for policy change; its platform offers data-driven predictive analytics and collaborative communications tools to keep users abreast of federal and state legislation.
Rhonda Dolan of Üdo: The mobile solution matches busy people in need of an assistant with providers who solve their immediate or ongoing needs.
Brian Kearns of HipHire: The software-as-a-service mobile jobs platform uses a unique algorithm to match high school students with employers.
Lauren Lawrence of Stenovate: The comprehensive collaboration platform helps the legal transcript community organize and optimize work flow.
Erin Little of Rx Hackers: The company provides upfront financing and concierge services to help patients find the best care at an affordable price.
Carlanda McKinney of Raaxo: The company is building a precision measurement technology platform that introduces mass customization capabilities to the apparel industry.
Kirby Montgomery of TheraWe Connect: The mobile, HIPAA-compliant video platform bridges the learning gap between the home and the therapy center for parents of children with developmental disabilities.
Aubrey Young of Fluence: The application platform connects end-users to their favorite businesses by incentivizing brand interactions to further the conversation between consumers and brands.
Donald Hawkins, founder of CitySmart: The community-focused software-as-a-service platform licenses its technology to chambers of commerce, business associations and municipalities to help small businesses connect and engage with local consumers.
Julia Luetje, a 10-year-old Barstow School student from Leawood: Julia was selected earlier this year as Frito-Lay’s $250,000 Dreamvention grand prize winner for her invention Storm Sleeper, a pillow designed for children who are afraid of thunderstorms.
And the results…
10-year-old Julia stole the show with her Storm Sleeper invention. She actually wasn’t part of the money giveaway because she was a “Pro” and is well on her way to production. The decision to choose from all of the great ideas was extremely difficult, but in the end I chose to support Rhonda Dolan of Üdo. I decided to put my money where my “pain” was. Her solution helps busy people like me be more efficient through the use of her personal assistant system.
It was a fantastic event to be a part of, and I left feeling inspired by all the talent and creativity that’s all around us in this place we all call home – Kansas City.