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...

The post Meet MSBA Student Chad Ellis appeared first on University of Louisville - College of Business.

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....

The post How the 2019 gubernatorial race impacted Kentucky’s early COVID-19 experience appeared first on University of Louisville - College of Business.

Venture Sharks’ 2021 Semifinalists Announced!

Venture Connectors is excited to announce the six semifinalists chosen to compete in the preliminary round of our 12th annual Venture Sharks™ business pitch competition! During the prelims on Tuesday, Sept. 21, the field will be narrowed to a few finalists. Those lucky survivors will then compete in front of a panel of savvy investor sharks fishing for the […]

Venture Connectors is excited to announce the six semifinalists chosen to compete in the preliminary round of our 12th annual Venture Sharks™ business pitch competition! During the prelims on Tuesday, Sept. 21, the field will be narrowed to a few finalists. Those lucky survivors will then compete in front of a panel of savvy investor sharks fishing for the next great deal at our regular monthly lunch on Wednesday, Oct. 6. Both events will be held at TEN20 Craft Brewery, 1020 E. Washington St.
  
The brave semifinalists 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.
  • GTM Technologies LLC, developer of Bare Trace, a B2B service designed to help companies of any size regain customer and employee confidence after a security breach or significant impact event. Founder is Jay Smith.
  • 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.
  • Statcode, maker of solutions designed to bridge the data gap between major companies and medium to small companies by making data science affordable for everyone. Founder is Caryle Blondell.
  • USS Veteran Services Co., developer of world’s first Smart Ladder, built with LED lights and sensors for better safety. Founder is Cliff Johns. 

In both rounds of competition, 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 television show, “Shark Tank.” The winner will receive a prize package designed to help them take their idea to market. In addition to a $5,000 cash award, they will receive one-on-one mentoring from established entrepreneurs and advisors.

Doors open for the Venture Sharks prelims on Sept. 21 at 5 p.m. The event, presented by Amplify Louisville and Ky Innovation, is free and open to the public. 

The Oct. 6 finals will be held from noon-1 p.m. There is no cost for Venture Connectors members and $40 for guests. Registration is required. 
 
This year’s Venture Sharks sponsors are Amplify Louisville, the Community Foundation of Louisville, PNC Bank, Fleur de Lis Communications and Frost Brown Todd

COME SWIM WITH THE SHARKS!