Sponsored by George Fox University
Home Linda Baker's Blog The entrepreneur's perfect pitch

The entrepreneur's perfect pitch

| Print |  Email
Linda Baker
Thursday, October 11, 2012

BY LINDA BAKER

10.11.12 Blog EntrepreneurA couple of years ago, Mike Gronholm’s girlfriend got him a Keurig single cup coffee maker for Christmas. Gronholm loved the gift, except for the disposable coffee filters. So he searched around until he found a company that made reusable filters, Ekobrew, based out of Mukilteo, Washington. 

But even then all was not right with the world. Cleaning the minuscule coffee filter was virtually impossible, as was trying to fill the filters with coffee and not make a huge mess in the process.

Enter Single Cup Accessories, a start up that makes, well, accessories for reusable single cup coffee makers, including a polypropelene device that cleans the filter, Kleana-K, and another piece of equipment that measures and dispenses the coffee, Exacta-K.

Keurig is selling about 500,000 single cup coffee makers a month, says Gronholm, who eventually hopes to bundle the accessories and resuable filters and market the whole package to Costco. For now, he has 5,000 Kleana-Ks in his garage and "wants to sell the heck out of these things."

I met Gronholm last night at OEN’s PubTalk, where 10 aspiring entrepreneurs pitched their products and services to investors and an audience of about 75 people. The event was held in the Backspace, and the atmosphere was so upbeat, energetic and full of camaraderie, one couldn’t help but root for all the aspiring entrepreneurs — while agreeing with investor observations about what they liked and didn’t like about the entrepreneurial pitch.

Here are excerpts from a few of the 3-minute pitches, as well as feedback from panel members, who worked for or were affiliated with the Oregon Angel Fund: Scott Sandler,  Eric Rosenfeld, Scott Grout, Leslie Nielsen and Terry St. Marie.

Kris Akins, CEO of BIKECOP, which makes a GPS-controlled anti theft device for bicycles, said a lagging "developmental timeline" was one of the company's weaknesses, and that she had put in place new technical team to hasten things along.   

Feedback: “I appreciate your candor about weaknesses but leave that for the diligence.”

Paola Moretto’s CloudyDays provides testing solutions for cloud deployed applications.

Feedback: “I’m not excited about the name, Cloudydays, it’s kind of a downer.”

David Yasnoff pitched Ecentiv, a web-services company.

Feedback: “You have great stage presence but I’ve no idea what it is you do.”

Al Kari ended his pitch for mobile app company Lipsynq by saying the company had come up with four ways to make money, which he would tell everyone about later.

Feedback:  "How you make money should be part of the pitch."

Green Innovations  makes a machine converting waste oil into an alternative diesel product that costs about 70 percent less than conventional fuel.   Asked about an exit strategy, cofounder Heber Miguel said the company launched just last week. An exit strategy? "We haven't thought of that."

Feedback: Honesty is always the best policy.

There were no “winners” at last night’s event.  Rather, the PubTalk gave the entrepreneurs exposure and a chance to get feedback, said OENs Leslie Constans.

A few weeks ago, I noted the complete absence of women at OEN's Tom Holce awards. In addition to their impressive pitches and creative business ideas, the pubtalk's entrepreneurial crew were a noticably diverse bunch from both a gender and ethnic perspective, contributing to the scene's up beat, American Dream quality.

Linda Baker is managing editor of Oregon Business.

 

Comments   

 
Guest
0 #1 OEN Pub TalkGuest 2012-10-13 01:24:06
Hi Linda
Thank you for your coverage of OEN PubTalk and CloudyDays pitch. I'll be happy to talk to you more about CloudyDays if you are interested, we are based in Portland and we are contributing to making Portland a "cloud"-city.
Quote | Report to administrator
 
 
Guest
0 #2 correctionGuest 2012-10-19 02:54:37
It should read "OEN's Tom Holce" awards, not Tom Hulce. (Tom Hulce is an actor.)
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

Q&A: David Lively of Organically Grown Co.

News
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
OGCLogoBY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER

Demand for organic food continues to soar: Last year, sales of organic food rose to $32.3 billion — up 10% from 2012. In Oregon, organic produce wholesaler Organically Grown Co. has been championing organic growing methods for four decades.


Read more...

Risks & rewards of owning triple net investments

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, July 24, 2014
NNNinvestmentBY CLIFF HOCKLEY | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

With the increasing retirements of Baby Boomers, a massive real estate shift has created a significant increase in demand for NNN properties. The result? Increased demand has triggered higher prices and lower yields.


Read more...

EPA Standards: A breath of fresh air for the region

News
Thursday, June 12, 2014
EPABY ANDREA DURBIN | OB GUEST BLOGGER

Last week, the Obama administration took an important and welcomed step in the effort to protect the health and well-being of all Oregonians by limiting carbon pollution from existing power plants.


Read more...

The Scott Kveton affair

News
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
ScottKvetonBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Scott Kveton, the CEO of Urban Airship is taking a leave of absence from the company. As the story continues to unfold, here’s our perspective on a few of the key players.


Read more...

Portland: Where young people go to work?

News
Friday, June 06, 2014
UntitledBY KATIE AUSBURGER | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

How to build a hipster-friendly work environment.


Read more...

The business of running a food cart

News
Thursday, June 05, 2014
OBM1BY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER

What does it take to launch and run one of these mobile food businesses?  


Read more...

Oregon Business wins awards

News
Monday, June 30, 2014

ASBPEOregon Business magazine won two silver awards for excellence in writing in the National American Society of Business Publication Editors Western region competition.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS