By Nancy Price
Doug Wilcox, CEO of SafeKeeping, LLC, a software development service based in Evansville, won grand prize Oct. 3 at the inaugural Pitch Night at Zionsville Underground. Five startup companies competed during Pitch Night, Boone County’s first entrepreneurial pitching competition.
“Pitch competitions have been popping up all throughout the state in recent years,” said Rachel Huse, economic development manager for Boone County Economic Development Corp. “We, the Boone EDC, were intending to host a pitch competition this year and were approached by zWORKS for a potential collaboration. It was a wonderful team effort between zWORKS, Boone County’s only entrepreneurial and coworking space, and the Boone EDC, Boone County’s economic development arm, as we shed light on the entrepreneurs starting world-class businesses in our own backyard.”
Fifteen companies submitted applicants for Pitch Night. Applications were reviewed by a steering committee made up of four members of the community who have extensive interactions with startups and entrepreneurs. Startups were required to prepare a four-minute pitch describing their business and product/service, if applicable.
“They were also instructed what the judges would measure the companies on, specifically the product vision or business roadmap, the product or service scalability, the traction the company will have, the competitive landscape, the team members and an overall success factor,” Huse said.
Judges were personally selected as investor representatives interested in and actively working with startup businesses in Indiana.
In addition to SafeKeeping, LLC, companies selected to compete during Pitch Night included Animal Lovers Click, Best Quote, Parker Gwen and Revival Recreation, which one the People’s Choice Award.
As grand prize winner, Wilcox received free office space for one year in zWORKS, complimentary membership to the Zionsville Chamber of Commerce for a year and complimentary small business membership in the Boone EDC for one year. Chris and Kylie Jackson, winners for the People’s Choice Award, received $750 and complimentary small business membership to the Boone EDC for a year.
Future Pitch Nights
Plans are in the works for future pitch competitions throughout Boone County, according to Rachel Huse, economic development manager for Boone County Economic Development Corp. For more, visit zworks.org and follow Boone EDC social media platforms betterinboone.org and Facebook: BooneEDC.