We had a crowd of 75 gather at ODU Strome Entrepreneurial Center on Tuesday, January 29th, for 757Pitch’s 10th edition. We heard from five energetic startup teams about the big ideas they’re working on.
757Pitch is a bi-monthly, open-to-the-public pitch competition for new, scalable, high-growth business ideas. Five competitors each have seven minutes to deliver their pitch, followed by five minutes of Q&A. The winner is awarded $757 cash, access to the resources of the ODU Institute for Innovation & Entrerpeneurship, and a one-year membership to BizConnect.
All competitors benefit from candid feedback given by the judges and audience, along with publicity and practice pitching their venture.
757Pitch is organized through a collaboration between StartWheel and ODU, and sponsored by BizConnect.
At the end of the night, there could only be one winner—that spot went to Gradient Consulting, presented by founder Justin Selfridge.
Check out Justin’s pitch video below along with the rest of our lineup or subscribe StartWheel’s YouTube channel.
“Gradient Consulting is developing a novel concept, unmanned aerial system (UAS), which incorporates the best features of both glider and helicopter design methodologies. This low-power and aerodynamically efficient aircraft, called the Tethered Uni-Rotor Network (TURN), is striving for persistently enduring flight, meaning it collects enough solar energy during the day to remain aloft throughout the night, thereby eliminating the need to land and refuel. Such a capability enables pseudo-satellites, which offer the same services as our existing and aging satellite networks, but at vastly reduced cost, complexity, and signal latency. A vast majority of other research projects utilize tube-and-wing structures, but even optimized designs cannot achieve the goal with existing battery and solar cell technology, and they can only operate mid-summer while at favorable latitudes. PhD research and Air Force SBIR Phase I funding, has shown the TURN system can operate throughout the entire year while servicing 98% of the global population.”
“For students and parents who rely on school bus transportation, we offer a real time bus tracking application in order to notify students and parents when the bus arrives. Unlike other bus tracking apps that do not account for traffic lights, weather patterns and other inconsistencies, our app will track in real time by combining existing technology with a user friendly interface to help students get safely to school.”
“Relentless Chiropractic brings the convenience of specific, gentle, neurologically-based adjustments to busy professionals at their offices. This ensures their day can be fully utilized to maximize productivity. Unlike traditional office models where one needs to spend 60 minutes round trip, we will only take an average of 5 minutes per adjustment by bringing care to you.”
BPS360 Push-up Bars
“BPS360 Push-up Bars is the first all in one push-up device in the world. It allows users to perform the push-up on a 360-degree plane of motion through various incline/decline angles. The product is ideal for people looking to build lean muscles and those looking to become more fit and healthy. When performing push-up with the BPS360 Push-up Bars, users eliminate the constant bending and compression of their wrist joints that can result in wrist fatigue. The user will be able to maximize their workout by exhausting the targeted muscle group instead of the wrist.” (BPS360’s website and social media haven’t launched yet.)
“The product is the MOBILE SENTINEL. Delivering the solution to the demand of taking Flaggers off the roads and putting them in a safe and comfortable environment to control traffic in all conditions of weather and roadside environments. Will SAVE LIVES.”
We applaud all of our competitors for putting on such a great show, and for their ambitions of starting the next big venture here in Hampton Roads!
Judges for the competition were:
- Holly Biggers, an operations-oriented business owner with roots in project management. This native of Boulder Colorado has moved here to follow her love of the ocean and sailing in it.
- Wes Biggers, who recently relocated to Norfolk from Denver. He has been the owner of two businesses over the last 10 years building on an engineering background and experience as a Product Manager and Navy Nuke.
- Andrea Murray, Innovation Superintendent for the 480th ISR Wing at Langley AFB. She runs a 9-person office dedicated to acquiring new technologies, building networks across DoD and the private sector, and delivering education and training to 8,000 intelligence Airmen worldwide.
- Jennifer Vaziralli, who grew up in Virginia Beach before pursuing her Bachelor’s degree at Virginia Tech and her MBA at The Wharton School. She has spent the last 10 years working with three different tech start-ups in Washington DC and has now returned home to teach at ODU and invest in the next generation of Hampton Roads entrepreneurs.
- Keith Saunders who owns Not a Small Time Thing, a marketing consultancy for startups and small businesses. He is also a podcast producer and “cookie crawl” advocate.
The next 757Pitch will be held on March 19, 2019 from 5:30pm-8:30pm at Christopher Newport University in Newport News.
Applications for 757Pitch are accepted on a rolling basis and can be submitted at 757Pitch.org.
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StartWheel’s mission is to centralize and mobilize efforts that foster the growth of entrepreneurism in our regional innovation economy. We aim to support and cultivate an entrepreneurial network in HRVA where talent, resources, information and leadership come together.