Venture Connectors announces 2021 Venture Sharks winner

Venture Connectors is excited to announce Athelo Health is the winner of our 12th annual Venture Sharks™ business pitch competition. Led by founder Jessica Thurmond, Athelo Health is a B2B SaaS-based mobile application aimed at improving quality of life outcomes for patients with cancer while decreasing costs of service.  The winner was selected during the […]

Venture Connectors is excited to announce Athelo Health is the winner of our 12th annual Venture Sharks™ business pitch competition.

Led by founder Jessica Thurmond, Athelo Health is a B2B SaaS-based mobile application aimed at improving quality of life outcomes for patients with cancer while decreasing costs of service.

 The winner was selected during the final round of competition on Oct. 6, where three entrepreneurs seeking funding for their business plans faced off virtually with a panel of savvy investor sharks fishing for the next great deal. Athelo was selected based on the viability of its idea, the ability of the competition’s prize to positively impact the business and quality of its presentation.

Venture Connectors received dozens of applications from entrepreneurs across the region. During the finals, presenters were allowed a few minutes to describe their idea to the judges, who then fired off questions to the presenters in the style of the popular television show, “Shark Tank.”

The winner receives a grand prize package designed to help them take their idea to market, including a $5,000 cash award, one-on-one mentoring from established entrepreneurs and advisors, and other in-kind services provided by sponsors.

Venture Sharks’ presenting sponsor is Amplify Louisville. Cash sponsors are Amplify, the Community Foundation of Louisville and PNC Bank. In-kind sponsors include Amplify, Mightily, Fleur de Lis Communications, Ackerman CPAs and Frost Brown Todd

Judges for the finals event were Dan Beldy, managing director, Airwing Ventures; Paul Ford, managing principal, DS9 Capital; and John Willmoth, founder and managing partner, Poplar Ventures.

The other finalists were:

    • Grouper, founded by Chris Wiedmar, is a social messaging platform that connects users and creators based on their interests, hobbies and passions.
    • HBCU Tour, founded by Nasir Jones, is a subscription-based vendor services platform for current and former students of historically black colleges and universities.

Venture Sharks has awarded more than $100,000 in prizes since it launched in 2010. For more about the competition, click here

Future Security

Ask College of Business student Alexus Maddox what inspired her to explore a career in cyber security, and the answer is simple, “I wanted to work in a career where I felt like I was making every day count.” Alexus’ passion for making the days count re…

Ask College of Business student Alexus Maddox what inspired her to explore a career in cyber security, and the answer is simple, “I wanted to work in a career where I felt like I was making every day count.” Alexus’ passion for making the days count reflects both her commitment to academic excellence and building...

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A Return on Investment

William G. Meyer III’s resume is an intimidating read. In addition to the 40 years of accounting experience it boasts, you’ll also find 21 years’ worth of seminars he’s led, a handful of professional licenses he’s obtained, the recognition …

William G. Meyer III’s resume is an intimidating read. In addition to the 40 years of accounting experience it boasts, you’ll also find 21 years’ worth of seminars he’s led, a handful of professional licenses he’s obtained, the recognition he’s received, and a long list of community involvement going back to 1989, including currently serving...

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Announcing the 2021 Venture Sharks Finalists!

Venture Connectors is very pleased to announce the three early-stage startups who will compete in the final round of our 12th annual Venture Sharks™ business pitch competition on Wednesday, Oct. 6! The Venture Sharks selection committee chose the top ideas for the first round of competition, which was held Sept. 21. The finalists were selected based on the viability of their business, […]

Venture Connectors is very pleased to announce the three early-stage startups who will compete in the final round of our 12th annual Venture Sharks™ business pitch competition on Wednesday, Oct. 6!
 
The Venture Sharks selection committee chose the top ideas for the first round of competition, which was held Sept. 21. The finalists were selected based on the viability of their business, the quality of their presentation and the impact the Venture Sharks prize could have on their company. 
   
The finalists are:

  • Athelo Health, a B2B SaaS-based mobile application aimed at improving quality of life outcomes for patients with cancer while decreasing costs of service. Founder is Jessica Thurmond.
  • Grouper, a social messaging platform that connects users and creators based on their interests, hobbies and passions. Founder is Chris Wiedmar.
  • HBCU Tour, a subscription-based vendor services platform for current and former students of historically black colleges and universities. Founder is Nasir Jones.

During the finals, competitors will face a panel of savvy investor sharks fishing for the next great deal. They will each be allowed five minutes to describe their idea to the judges, who then will fire off questions to the presenters in the style of the television show, “Shark Tank.” One lucky survivor will receive a prize package designed to help them take their idea to market. In addition to a $5,000 cash award, the prize package will include one-on-one mentoring from established entrepreneurs and advisors. Judges are: Dan Beldy, managing director, Airwing Ventures; Paul Ford, managing principal, DS9 Capital; and John Willmoth, founder and managing partner, Poplar Ventures.

This competition would not be possible without our generous sponsors. Venture Sharks’ presenting sponsor is Amplify Louisville. Cash sponsors are Amplify, the Community Foundation of Louisville and PNC Bank. In-kind sponsors include Amplify, MightilyFleur de Lis CommunicationsAckerman CPAs and Frost Brown Todd
 
The final round will be held during Venture Connectors’ regular monthly lunch on Oct. 6 at TEN20 Craft Brewery, 1020 E. Washington St., from noon-1 p.m. The event is free to Venture Connectors members and $40 for guests. Registration is required. 

COME SWIM WITH THE SHARKS ON OCT. 6! 

Meet MSBA Student Chad Ellis

“Coming from lowered expectations of having learning disabilities to…earning a second Master’s degree [from] a dream school…was a very humbling moment,” shared Chad Ellis (he/him/his), Associate Director of Technology Solutions at Humana. H…

“Coming from lowered expectations of having learning disabilities to…earning a second Master’s degree [from] a dream school…was a very humbling moment,” shared Chad Ellis (he/him/his), Associate Director of Technology Solutions at Humana. He is a spring 2021 graduate of the Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) program at the University of Louisville. Ellis faced...

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How the 2019 gubernatorial race impacted Kentucky’s early COVID-19 experience

When Democratic candidate Andy Beshear defeated Republican incumbent Matt Bevin in the 2019 election, no one could have predicted that COVID-19 would define his term. In a recent study published by PLOS One, UofL economist Dr. Joshua Pinkston and sever…

When Democratic candidate Andy Beshear defeated Republican incumbent Matt Bevin in the 2019 election, no one could have predicted that COVID-19 would define his term. In a recent study published by PLOS One, UofL economist Dr. Joshua Pinkston and several other researchers examined the impact of early social distancing policies on the pandemic in Kentucky....

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