Charleston Metro Chamber’s Perfect Pitch Event Recap

Last week’s Perfect Pitch event at the Sottile Theater was yet another affirmation that Silicon Harbor has some serious talent. A Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce Program, Perfect Pitch was a culmination of College of Charleston students, Catalyst Center members, and CoHort 2 from the Harbor Accelerator. Each category had three winners, and the judges were among the most notable of Charleston’s entrepreneur community.

The students began the event with some very impressive ideas. Anna Baginski pitched Spot It, a social parking app that would sell private real estate parking spots—a great fix to an increasingly crowded downtown. TwoCan, a two can beer koozie, held the attention of more than just the students in the room with its innovation. The winner, however, was Will Jameson of Geekin Radio, a social listening network that will allow users to follow one another and listen along in real time.

The next group of pitches were selected from the Perfect Pitch event hosted at the Catalyst Center over the summer. Hank Hannah, of Dwell.PM—an idea that was also presented at Charleston’s first Startup Weekend last month—won third place. Dwell is an app that helps property managers keep track of the piles of tedious paperwork required.

dwell-perfectpitch

Second place winner, Joe Dwyer, organizer of the first Startup Weekend and founder of MakeLab, pitched his company, Chippers Caddy. This compact, 3D printed tool helps golfers work on their short game by providing an efficient way to collect balls off the practice green. Cephus Simmons, founder of SealCath and member of SCLaunch, pitched his optimized catheter production company. His design is already licensed and being used at MUSC. After nearly fainting on stage, Simmons walked away with one large check.

ChipperCaddy

Finally, the Harbor Accelerator CoHort 2 companies hit the stage. The Harbor Entrepreneur Center’s value to Silicon Harbor’s startup community was apparent in the promising teams that pitched. The judges were stumped when confronted with having to choose just three winners. Judge Derrick Willis of SCLaunch said, “it’s going to be tough to whittle this down.”

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Cohort2Winners

Coming in third was Ryan Pirkle with Eremos, an inflatable frame technology company. Their simple multipurpose frame is just the start of a scalable solution to disaster relief and other forms of humanitarian aid. In second place was Bidr, a text message based silent auction platform that digitizes the inefficient paper based auction process. Its dashboard provides organizers with real time analytics, and gives end users a simple way to place bids and keep up with the latest bids. Finally, coming in first place was OpsAssure, a digital operations management system. This Software as a Service platform replaces paper checklists and gets a whole office staff on the same page for greater productivity.

opsassure-perfectpitch

While choosing just three winners from CoHort 2 was difficult for the judges, Perfect Pitch is still a great opportunity for all of the teams to begin the process of finding outside funding, which is true of all the teams that pitched yesterday. John Osborne, founder of the Harbor Entrepreneur Center said he “fully expect[s] some of the teams in CoHort 2 to raise outside funding.” It’s a process that happens over time, after many pitches. Perfect Pitch is an event particularly crucial to the Charleston Startup scene that is fervently trying to close the funding gap. While some entrepreneurs attribute that gap to a lack of funders, VCs need to know what’s out there, which means the community is in need of more pitch events. Let this be your call to action, Silicon Harbor!

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