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

Convention Wisdom

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

After more than a decade of wrangling, construction on a convention center hotel in Portland is slated to start this summer. But debate over project financing continues.


Read more...

That's Not a Watch (This Is a Watch)

February 2015
Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Smartwatches are all the rage. But old-fashioned timepieces keep on ticking.


Read more...

Corner Office: Timothy Mitchell

January-Powerbook 2015
Saturday, December 13, 2014

A look-in on the life of Norris & Stevens' president, plus an abridged Powerlist for the best commercial real estate firms.


Read more...

Playoffs pay off for the Ducks

The Latest
Friday, January 02, 2015
oregon-ducks-logo-helmet-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

The University of Oregon football team looked unstoppable on the field Jan. 1 — and the university is reaping the benefits of the new postseason format.


Read more...

Crowdfunding 2.0

News
Tuesday, December 02, 2014
120214-crowdfund-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

A conversation with attorney Erich Merrill about the latest way to raise money from large groups of people.


Read more...

Corner Office: Steve Tatone

January-Powerbook 2015
Saturday, December 13, 2014

Seven tidbits about the president and CEO of AKT Group.


Read more...

The Human Factor

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY BRIAN LIBBY

Matt French opens up South Waterfront.


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