When TechCrunch Came to Columbus: Micro-Meetup Pitch Competition

Last night, John Biggs from TechCrunch rolled into Columbus for Columbus Micro-Meetup, a quick pitch-off in preparation for Disrupt SF. 10 companies were selected to present 90-second pitches to the crowd at Standard Hall in the Short North. The room was packed with about 100 attendees from the Columbus startup community. While John Biggs was the moderator, a panel of judges represented Columbus well. We had Michael Kindrat-Pratt, Senior Director of Investment Funds and Ohio TechAngel Funds, Dan Rockwell, CEO of Big Kitty Labs, Tanisha Robinson, Founder of Print Syndicate, and Erika White, CEO of Ikove Venture Partners.

“I get to see a lot of pitches in my day-to-day. Yet, I’ve only seen one out of ten pitches from this group prior to coming here tonight,” said Michael Kindrat-Pratt. “It was a unique blend of people coming together. We had one group driving here from Buffalo New York on a day’s notice. You saw people getting up here from Cincinnati, as well. It was an interesting turnout and equally interesting pitches.”

After all pitches were heard, the judges deliberated in the back and came to the table with two winners:

Wyzerr, a Cincinnati startup that uses artificial intelligence to help businesses make smart decisions by constantly listening to their customers, employees, and marketplace. Their platform resembles applications that today’s digital consumer enjoys interacting with such as games and social media, and mimic behaviors that are learned through popular mobile apps.

In second place, Hopper Carts a Columbus startup that provides on-demand, eco-friendly rides to your favorite local places. Their electric vehicles are sponsored by brands that share their emphasis on a greener future.

Heads Up was selected as the Audience Choice. The company created wearable communication system that allows operators to receive personal safety and time critical updates while maintaining focus by providing alerts within their peripheral vision. This technology enables instant communication between operators, safety crews, management teams, and life-saving sensor technology.

Overall, it was a successful night. As an entrepreneur, when you have the opportunity to practice your pitch you should always take it. Here are a few tips on developing the perfect pitch.