Entrepreneurs propel their ventures at Rocket Pitch
April 19, 2012By Samantha Freda
Innovative business ideas zoomed around UNCW’s Burney Center Wednesday as five local entrepreneurs gave their best shot to requests for capital.
Their presentations took place at the Rocket Pitch, a bi-annual event sponsored by the UNCW Entrepreneurship Center at which the entrepreneurs compete to gain the attention of investors with a “rocket-pitch”—an eight-minute presentation to demonstrate their product, explain their business model and provide a growth plan.
Jonathan Rowe, director of the Entrepreneurship Center, began the event with a brief introduction, followed by a message from Chancellor Gary Miller.
The first company to pitch was Pipeview Technologies, represented by Kristen Beckmeyer, who is also the co-owner of Wilmington’s Coastal Cupcakes. During her PowerPoint presentation, Beckmeyer gave examples of poorly managed pipe systems in cities that greatly suffered the ill-effects of giant man-holes and gas leaks that resulted from lines accidentally being drilled through pipes. Her venture’s solution is a robotic camera developed by RedZone robotics that can travel through 3,000 linear feet of pipe per day, rather than the current standard of 800 linear feet.
Dan Tomkins presented his venture, TeacherRegistry.com, a family-owned website that digitalizes the concept of a teacher “wish-list”, a practice among educators who must purchase their own supplies due to education budget cuts.
Next was Terry Linehan, a lecturer of 13 years in the film department at UNCW who sought to fund an independent film being shot in North Carolina for which he is the writer, producer and director.
A pitch from Myo Med LLC, given by company president Elizabeth Logan, discussed its patented Myotonology technology that restores skin tonicity through a non-invasive procedure that uses microcurrent therapy.
The final rocket pitch was from UNCW alumnus Shaun Olsen of CloudWyze, a company whose cloud technology moves users to dedicated circuits for better, guaranteed Internet quality.
Among the event’s attendees were UNCW business students learning how to put together such pitches for their own eventual use. When asked which presentation she enjoyed most, Hillary Fritz gave high marks to Beckmeyer’s.
“Pipeview is more of an unknown idea, and the effects of poorly managed pipes really can be so damaging,” Fritz said. “To hear that only 10 percent of pipe damage is being addressed (a point made during the pitch) is just horrible. Pipeview seemed unique and something to look into.”
Jonathan Rowe concluded the pitches, emphasizing the important of supporting local entrepreneurs.
“This is our seventh Rocket Pitch and every time, our eyes are opened to the incredible talent of companies in southeast North Carolina,” he said. “As the Entrepreneurship Center grows, we want to be a catalyst for entrepreneurial growth.”