The Bit Factory’s inaugural FUEL Akron pitch competition recently awarded three local software startups the maximum of $10,000 each and entrance into the tech accelerator.
The awarded companies are:
- Komae, presented by Audrey Wallace and Amy Husted. Komae is an app that helps parents connect with other parents, neighbors and family to exchange free baby-sitting duties.
- SkinnyTable, presented by Ross Marchetta, M.D., Matt Wismer and Kenneth Weller. SkinnyTable is an app that helps users with weight management and overall health and wellness by providing healthy menu choices from restaurants.
- TPA Stream, presented by Jacob Sheridan. TPA Stream is web-based software that automates claims collections for insurance industry third-party administrators. The web-based software helps TPAs streamline their process and increase efficiency.
The idea of FUEL, whose Nov. 17 final round was open to the public and attracted 70 spectators, is to help aspiring software startups launch new ventures and grow within The Bit Factory program, which gives companies access to its collaborative workspace, guidance through mentors and investment money. Companies that produce anything under the IT umbrella — such as apps, software, web devices or hardware — were eligible for the competition.
During the event, patterned after the show “Shark Tank,” the competing companies presented their ideas to a panel of three judges and negotiated for their equity investment. The money came from a Third Frontier grant and the city of Akron.
The competition was “a chance of a lifetime for small- and medium-sized entrepreneurs,” Samuel DeShazior, Akron’s deputy mayor of economic development, told Crain’s for a story announcing FUEL. “They will get great exposure, reach a lot of people, turn heads and be able to launch into the marketplace and be an independent player. There is no telling where they can go.”
The three sharks were Anthony Margida, chief executive officer, Akron Global Business Accelerator and president of The Bit Factory; Michael G. Craig, partner, Brouse McDowell; and Jack Hilton, mentor, The Bit Factory.
Read the full article at Cleveland Business.