Business & Finance

Press Releases

Two Startups Tie for First Place in VANJ Elevator Pitch Olympics

On Monday, May 21, the Venture Association New Jersey (www.vanj.com), presented its Spring Entrepreneurs Expo & Elevator Pitch Olympics at the Marriott Hanover, Whippany, NJ.  Two companies tied for first place.  One was New Tech Wind (newtechwind@verizon.net) of York, PA, which seeks to market high efficiency wind turbine generators using patented direct drive technology instead of gearboxes to slash life cycle costs.  The other was Thermal Gradient (www.thermalgradient.com) of Rochester, NY, which has developed a unique device capable of performing DNA testing in only 8 minutes instead of the hour or more required by conventional laboratory techniques.

From 10:00 AM to 12:00 Noon, 22 individual entrepreneurs seeking startup and growth capital showcased their companies to potential investors.  At 12:00 Noon, lunch was served to an audience of 175 people as a panel of Venture Capitalists (VC’s) and Angel Investors who served as Judges for the Elevator Pitch Olympics took the stage.  Immediately following lunch, the 22 entrepreneurs made their 2-minute presentations, which were judged by the panel. 

 

Sign Up for E-News

An elevator pitch is a short presentation made by an entrepreneur raising capital to launch or expand a business.  The term describes a pitch short enough to be given during an elevator ride, which may be the entrepreneur’s only chance to talk with a potential investor.  Just as in the real Olympics, the investor judges held up their scores and gave points ranging from one to ten in the categories of quality of presentation and business fundability.

The panel of investors was moderated by David J. Sorin, Esq., Managing Partner of SorinRand LLC (www.sorinrand.com), a business oriented law firm structured to meet the needs of emerging growth and middle market enterprises.  Panelists included:

 

·       Steve Brotman, Managing Partner, Silicon Alley Venture Partners (www.savp.com)

 

·       Mario Casabona, Angel Investor, Founder & CEO, Casabona Ventures, LLC (www.casabonaventures.com)

 

·       Brian S. Cohen, Chairman, New York Angels (www.newyorkangels.com)

 

·       Carol Curley, Managing Director, Golden Seeds, LLC (www.goldenseeds.com)

 

·       Frank Graziano, Managing Partner, Monmouth Venture Partners (www.fjgraziano.com)

 

·       Scott Sipprelle, Managing Director & Founder, Innovation Garden (www.InnovationGardenNJ.com)

 

·       Jeanne Sullivan, Founding Principal, StarVest Partners L.P. (www.starvestpartners.com).

 

New Tech Wind, one of the first place winners, has developed a utility-sized wind turbine combining high output permanent magnet generator technology originated at Penn State University (patent pending) with proprietary high RPM blades made of advanced composite materials.  With improvements based on field feedback, these generators should reduce life cycle costs to the point where government subsidies are no longer needed.

Thermal Gradient, the other first place winner, has developed a patented device that can automate DNA testing, which is currently carried out by extracting nucleic acids from bodily fluids and making billions of copies of them, primarily through a complex, costly and time consuming amplification process known as PCR (polymerase chain reaction).  The Thermal Gradient device not only reduces the time required for PCR from hours to minutes, but also eliminates the need for highly skilled laboratory technicians.

The second place winner was Plehn Analytics (www.plehnanalytics.com) of Newtown, PA, which uses complex proprietary algorithms to process raw data from a number of U.S. Government Departments and agencies to produce accurate detailed reports.  These reports can then be used to determine the size of a market, manage financial and legal risk and perform economic and business research.

There was also a tie for third place.  SeedInvest (www.seedinvest.com) of New York, NY is an equity crowdfunding platform that empowers entrepreneurs to raise seed capital and enables anyone to invest in startups and small businesses.  Legalized by passage of the JOBS Act in April, 2012, crowdfunding has significantly expanded access to capital for startups and small business.

Speak-N-Find (www.speak-n-find.info) of New York, NY is a voice recognition, radio frequency electronic device that enables users to find within seconds items they constantly misplace in their homes and offices.  The base station supports up to 16 finders, each of which is attached to a different item such as a set of keys, a wallet or billfold, etc.  When the name of the item to be found is spoken into the unit, the finder flashes and beeps.

 

“Accelerators and Incubators”  at June 19 VANJ Luncheon

The next VANJ meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 19 at the Marriott Hanover, 1401 Route 10 East, Whippany, NJ.  The featured speaker will be Heather Gilchrist, Managing Director, RAK Tech Fund (www.raktechfund.com), a seed fund based in SoHo with a preference for lean startups and companies that participate in high quality accelerator programs.  She will discuss the role of Accelerators and Incubators as new work models for startups.

Gilchrist also serves as the Startup Ambassador for the New Jersey Tech Meetup and is a mentor at Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator, organizer of Startup Weekend Education in New York City.

Advance reservations can be made by calling Clara Stricchiola at (973) 631-5680, faxing (973) 984-9634 or e-mailing clara@vanj.com and mailing a check ($35 for members, $55 for non-members) to VANJ, 26 Main Street, Chatham, NJ 07928-2402.  Registration at the door is $75 after 12:00 Noon on Monday, June 11.

 

 

 

 

 

Caption:   Jay Trien, President of VANJ (center), presents awards to the top winners – Robert Juncosa, Chief Technology Officer, Thermal Gradient (left) and John West, President, New Tech Wind.

 

 

 

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

HOLD: Fellowship Helping Hands Receives Home Care Award

February 17, 2018

Fellowship Helping Hands, the home care agency operated by Fellowship Senior Living in Basking Ridge,  has received the 2018 Best of Home Care® – Provider of Choice Award from Home Care Pulse, announced Liz Fandel, vice president of Home Community Based Services at Fellowship Senior Living.

Fellowship Helping Hands is a New Jersey licensed home care service for older and ...

New Jersey Youth Symphony Announces Bring A Buddy Week March 4-8

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ—New Jersey Youth Symphony (NJYS) invites young musicians in grades 3-11 to attend open rehearsals for Bring A Buddy Week, March 4-8 at 570 Central Avenue in New Providence. Participating students will observe the first half of a rehearsal. Students can visit any ensemble based on their grade and experience level. Students who do not have a friend in an ensemble can still ...

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense Will Meet on Tues, Feb. 20, at LaGrande Park Building

FANWOOD, NJ -- Following the mass shooting in Florida this week, the Union County Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense will meet on Tuesday, Feb. 20, at 7:00 p.m. at the LaGrande Park Building  in Fanwood.

"Every life cut short by gun violence -- that somehow becomes a statistic -- is tucked away in our hearts, never to be lost," wrote Patti ...

Register Now to Save! Berkeley Heights Community Pool at the YMCA Early Bird Registration until February 28

With summer just around the corner, it will be hard not to look out the window and dream of warmer days and cool, crystal clear pools that are ready for swimming and splashing. With the Berkeley Heights Community Pool at the YMCA early bird registration currently open, signing up sooner will save money and give you something to look forward to once the summer sun hits! Since 1964, the Berkeley ...

Colleen Mahr Is The Leader Our Party Needs

February 13, 2018

Dear Editor:

My name is Patti Murgo. I am Committeewoman in Linden’s Eighth Ward. I am a life-long  DEMOCRAT, a party activist, and a believer in what being a democrat stands for. Last week, I received a piece of literature from our municipal chairman, Nick Scutari, regarding his “plans” for the County Democratic Party if he is elected county chairman.

Mr.

No One Is More Qualified and Capable to be Our Next Democratic Committee Chair Than Colleen Mahr

Dear Editor:

Mayor Colleen Mahr has been a pillar of consistency in Union County for the last 20 years, having devoted her life to public service. There is no one more qualified and capable to lead us as our next Union County Democratic Committee Chair.

Colleen has mentored, coached and supported countless candidates running for office in Union County, all across our 21 ...

Mayor Colleen Mahr Is a Strong and Capable Leader

Dear Editor:

In  all the years I’ve known Mayor Colleen Mahr, I’ve found her to be a strong and capable leader, completely dedicated to the needs and success of every municipality in Union County.

 As  Vice Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee for the past five years, she's earned the right to take her seat at the head of the ...

Chatham Borough Police Chief Crosson has Retired; Captain Gibbons is Acting Commander

February 12, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - Phil Crosson Jr., who has been a member of the Chatham Borough Police Department since 1992, retired from his position as the police chief on Feb. 1.

"It came on pretty quickly," Crosson said when reached by phone on Sunday. "I was on vacation for six weeks and I bought a business. I came back for one day and retired."

According to Crosson, ...

‘Reefer Madness’ Comes to Chatham Borough Council; Cannabis Advocates Make Pitch for Chatham Marijuana Shop

February 14, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - A group of pro-cannabis activists came to the Borough of Chatham Council meeting on Monday night and used the public commentary portion of the meeting to ask the council to support a marijuana dispensary in town.

The advocates, who say they have attended more than 80 town meetings to inform about the benefits of medical cannabis, mentioned the 1936 movie "Reefer ...

Upcoming Events

Sun, February 18

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Carousel_image_ab8f5d9efb4317e5a445_hiawatha

Sun, February 18, 3:00 PM

Lawton C. Johnson Middle School , Summit

New Jersey Intergenerational Orchestra Free ...

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, February 18, 7:00 PM

Villagers Theatre, Somerset

Hairspray Auditions

Arts & Entertainment

Mon, February 19

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Mon, February 19, 7:00 PM

Villagers Theatre, Somerset

Hairspray Auditions

Arts & Entertainment

Tue, February 20

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Invest Like a Tortoise -- Not Like a Hare

Aesop’s “The Tortoise and the Hare” is a perfect metaphor for the way people go about investing their money. As you recall in the fable, the hare brags about his ability to beat the tortoise and is overly confident about winning. In the investment world, the hare is someone who thinks he or she is great at selecting “winners” and avoiding “losers.” The ...