Diverse ventures pitch to investors
October 11, 2012By Jenny Callison
Five very different local companies touted their prospects and their capital needs to potential investors at Wednesday’s Rocket Pitch event, presented by the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Entrepreneurship Center.
Representatives of each venture had eight minutes to talk about their company, goals and request for capital.
Rocket Pitch, held semi-annually at UNCW’s Burney Center, was moderated by Fran Scarlett, interim director of the entrepreneurship center.
For a second time, Waterplay USA -- which went live this summer with its investor-financed booking engine – took the stage to present its plan. The company, which operates a water-related vacation booking website that features nearly 10,000 vendors, is now looking for $300,000 in additional capital to launch a review and reservation function similar to what OpenTables.com offers restaurants.
Wounded Warrior Skin Ointment, which spokeswoman Amy McKay calls “a first-aid kit in a bottle,” would use capital to expand marketing and distribution of its original product as well as to develop related products. The ointment -- developed 25 years ago by McKay’s father -- is a mixture of aloe vera and herbs native to North Carolina.
The concept behind EyeBar was born one evening when entrepreneur Spencer Barrick and some buddies were trying to decide on a nightlife option. The company mounts noninvasive video cameras in bars, restaurants and entertainment venues so potential customers can check out the scene. Barrick said the application has caught on in Washington, D.C. and several smaller cities, adding that the live streaming capability allows events to reach more people.
Face Recall Technologies is in the process of spinning off from UNCW, where its Chief Technology Officer, Karl Ricanek, teaches in the computer science department. The company -- which uses facial recall technologies to provide demographic information to businesses and social media -- is seeking $5 million in venture capital to further commercialize and expand its operations.
The last pitch came from Hollywood filmmakers Chad and Carey Hayes, who recently made The Conjuring in Wilmington. Through the filming they met Diana Pasulka, a member of the religion and philosophy department at UNCW who studies Christian paranormal phenomena. Impressed with the region and the film-related talent and skills in the area, the Hayes brothers want to partner with UNCW’s religion and philosophy department on a variety of projects, including a reality TV series. Venture capital support would enable them to establish a production company here.