“Chocolate-based startup a winning recipe at 'Pitch Fest' - Pamplin Media Group” plus 2 more

“Chocolate-based startup a winning recipe at 'Pitch Fest' - Pamplin Media Group” plus 2 more

Chocolate-based startup a winning recipe at 'Pitch Fest' - Pamplin Media Group

Posted: 12 Aug 2019 12:00 AM PDT

EMEA event gives new entrepreneurs chance to showcase unique business concepts

PMG PHOTO: SHANNON O. WELLS - Jason Jackson, center, accepts the first place trophy for his Pitch Fest presentation on Jasons Artisan Chocolates, surrounded by his fellow startup entrepreneurs and East Metro Economic Alliance Leaders at the Start-Up East Metro Pitch Fest at Gresham City Hall. When juxtaposed with school security innovations and a homespun media services startup, the allure of artisan chocolate proved too powerful for the competition at a recent event to promote fledgling entrepreneurial concepts in East Multnomah County.

The pitch from Jason Jackson of Jason's Artisan Chocolates won the day at the first Start-Up East Metro Pitch Fest event held Thursday evening, Aug. 8, at Gresham City Council Chambers off of Eastman Parkway. Jackson's presentation, which included chocolate samples circulated around the small but enthusiastic audience, earned him 48% of votes and the top prize $1,500 from event sponsor East Metro Economic Alliance (EMEA). Lyfe Tech owner Alexis Figueroa prototype of bullet-resistant vests for classrooms brought in 36% of the vote and a $360 prize, while Paul Summers, founder of NBH Family Media, specializing in video production for nonprofit groups, took third place and $175 with 16% of votes.

Jackson — inspired by his grandmother's chocolate-making magic — started his business three years ago with his father, and admitted he was pleased by the audience's response despite feeling "kinda nervous."

"It's about trying to figure out what everyone wants to hear," he said. "Tonight was about telling people what we do and why we do it."

That the chocolate company has shipped its dark delights to countries like Kazakhstan and Belgium that are known for chocolate, makes Jackson feel he's on the right path.

"This gives me more confidence that I can do the next pitch," he said.

PMG PHOTO: SHANNON O. WELLS - Alexis Figueroa demonstrates his Lyfe Tech vest, designed to protect schoolteachers and children from gunfire in the classroom during the Pitch Fest event on Thursday night, Aug. 8. EMEA Executive Director Jarvez Hall conjured up Pitch Fest to further the organization's goal of "supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region." Entrepreneurs and small business owners were given a set time to pitch their ideas in the manner of ABC TV's "Shark Tank" business-based reality show, with audience members serving as judges, asking questions of the pitchers before casting votes via their smartphones.

The cash prizes are intended to enhance their business growth, Hall noted. Half of the event's admission fees go toward increasing the pool of money available to winning entrepreneurs.

Paul Summers, who started the evening event with a low-key presentation about his video-oriented media company, said for now he earns money from streaming his music online as well as online donations toward his goal of running marathons.

Responding to an audience member's question, Summers said in five years he would like to see his company branch out to serve other parts of the country, noting that "anyone willing to work for me, I'm willing to give them the shirt off my back."

Figueroa, who acknowledged that Lyfe Tech's focus on marketing bullet-protection vests in an alarmed, quick-access storage box is an unfortunate reality in modern-day society, is encouraged by the response he's received so far from academic leaders for his innovations.

"I'm meeting with the Seattle University provost," he noted. "It's unfortunate we have to prepare for that, but we all have to think (about safety preparations)."

Although several participants who signed up for Pitch Fest were unable to attend for various reasons, Hall thought the event went well and set the stage for other pitch nights to follow.

PMG PHOTO: SHANNON O. WELLS - Paul Summers shares his idea of a collectively run media company, NBH Family Media, at the East Metro Economic Alliances PItch Fest event last week. "It's really exciting to see entrepreneurs blossoming out here in East County," Hall said, noting the success of Portland-based events like Pitch Latino and Portland Startup Week. "We wanted to get that same spirit out here.

"We plan to keep doing Pitch Fest," he added. "Supporting (startups) this way really makes a difference connecting us to the larger entrepreneurial scene."

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Sputnik ATX welcomes diverse group of startups to accelerator - Austin Business Journal

Posted: 12 Aug 2019 12:53 PM PDT

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Sputnik ATX welcomes diverse group of startups to accelerator  Austin Business Journal

Austin startup accelerator Sputnik ATX has whittled 300 applicants and 22 finalists down to six startups that will join its summer cohort — its fourth since ...

Delaware start-up gets seed grant from National Science Foundation - delawarebusinessnow.com

Posted: 13 Aug 2019 06:47 AM PDT

MS Solutions, LLC, Hockessin, has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to develop and commercialize novel ionization methods for mass spectrometry.

Delawaer-based MSholds a number of patents. The importance of mass spectrometry ionization technologies for advancing science was recognized by the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry to the inventors of currently used methods, the company noted

The goal of the Phase I project is to build a prototype product for medical diagnostics and other applications having unprecedented robustness and sensitivity through use of the newly developed ionization technology.

A successful product would cost substantially less than current methods, a release stated.

Charles McEwen, MS president, stated "the new NSF grant allows the company to continue to develop innovative solutions in areas such as medical diagnostics. For example, we are developing a lower cost and faster approach to identification of bacteria pathogens."

All proposals submitted to the NSF SBIR/STTR program, also known as America's Seed Fund, undergo a rigorous merit-based review process.

"NSF is proud to support the technology of the future by thinking beyond incremental developments and funding the most creative, impactful ideas across all markets and areas of science and engineering," said Andrea Belz, division Director of the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships at NSF. "With the support of our research funds, any deep technology startup or small business can guide basic science into meaningful solutions that address tremendous needs."


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