TechGROWTH Ohio clients pitch to investors, students accompany trip to 3 Rivers Venture Fair

Jasmine Grillmeier
April 22, 2016

Six TechGROWTH Ohio clients were accepted to pitch their companies at the 3 Rivers Venture Fair in Pittsburgh, PA, on April 5 and 6, with OHIO students accompanying the trip for a hands-on experience in venture capital.

This year’s pitch format, Venture Connection, matched groups of entrepreneurs with venture capitalists and private investors based on their capital needs, industry and other key criteria, and placed them together at a table. Each group was then given 20 minutes to meet and pitch their investment prospects.

“TechGROWTH Ohio’s coaching helped tremendously in preparing for the investor ‘speed dating’ format of this year’s event,” Tom Reid, CEO and lead inventor at The SEED Protocol, one of the clients in attendance, said. “After my first day in which I interviewed with six potential investors, I was able to further refine my pitch for an even more successful day two. I left with strong contacts for our current and future funding needs -- and perhaps just as importantly I became very good at pitching my company.”

The six TechGROWTH Ohio clients selected to present cover a broad gamut of technologies and stages of company growth, including:

  • Sense Labs developed an intelligent energy tracker that helps users reduce consumers’ electricity usage and carbon footprint.
  • coolWIRE offers an electrical conduit innovation enabling raceways to hold 900 percent more conductors without overheating.
  • The SEED Protocol offers a healthcare industry solution enabling people to protect their own health records by storing them in a private Cloud Lockbox, secured with personalized locks.
  • QuickLoadz has developed an innovative method for safely transporting sea shipping containers without the use of cranes, winches or cables.
  • FWD:Energy, Inc. created technology to convert tires into useable products, such as crude oil, carbon black or printer ink.
  • YOST Labs, Inc. develops patented sensor technologies providing responsive and accurate gesture-tracking.

These six TechGROWTH Ohio clients weren’t the only ones from the Southeast Ohio region to attend the 3 Rivers Venture Fair. TechGROWTH Ohio was also at the event as a potential investor and brought along five Ohio University students to learn from the experience.

“It was a wonderful event for our six accepted companies, for TechGROWTH Ohio, and for the five entrepreneurship students who joined us on the trip and who participated in our company interviews,” Michele Migliuolo, executive-in-residence at TechGROWTH Ohio, said. “Our six clients all had positive experiences with the investors they met, TechGROWTH Ohio interviewed about a dozen companies from different regions in Ohio, and the students were able to enjoy the beauty of the city of Pittsburgh and the fine restaurants.”

The students also gained valuable insight into the entrepreneurial world during the event.

"This opportunity allowed us to experience the real world of investing both from the perspective of the entrepreneur and the investor,” Lori Bentz, junior management and data analytics major with a minor in finance, said. “It was great to see how deals are started and the way negotiations take place."