Two Longmont Startups Heading to PitchNo.CO Next Week
Longmont’s Mike Hassel next week will tout the technology he has developed to help people dealing with hypophonia, which manifests in an abnormally weak voice that reduces speech to a whisper.
Hassel will be talking up his company, HearMe Technology, in hopes of gaining fans, and more importantly, investors at PitchNo.CO . The startup pitch competition next week at Spaces coworking space will feature nine Northern Colorado companies vying for capital to help them grow. Among them will be two startups from Longmont: HearMe Technology and WhipSmartt.
The competition showcases Northern Colorado companies that have a clear strategy to move forward, and are looking to grow locally, said Jana Sanchez, executive director of LaunchNo.CO , the nonprofit that organized the event in conjuction with Fort Collins Startup Week .
Participants will pitch their ideas to panels of expert investors and judges during initial rounds on Tuesday and Wednesday. Later in the week, semi-finalists and finalists will pitch their startups to mayors and business leaders from across Northern Colorado, she said.
Winners will receive prize packages that include a variety of free professional services to help their businesses, Sanchez said. “Cash prizes often are less helpful than service packages with expert advice.”
All participants will receive six months of specialized support from LaunchNo.Co .
Hassel, an electrical engineer with 40 years experience, has created a device, the size of a cell phone that amplifies a voice signal while canceling any background noise.
He said he was prompted to develop the technology to help his wife, who has Parkinson’s disease, communicate with her 94-year-old mother, who is hard of hearing. He is still perfecting the technology, but is excited to talk about it with the investor community.
Hassel said he has worked for six startups and knows the importance of making a pitch. It’s about the opportunity to meet the right people for advice, investment and networking, he said.
A similar sentiment guides Brad Brown, also of Longmont, who will be pitching WhipSmartt , a startup he founded in 2016 with friend Matt Keller. The company has developed a mobile study app, aimed at exam preparation content providers, among others, for ACT, SAT and for graduate school admissions.
The app incorporates the concept of micro-learning and slim study sessions to help exam takers, Brown said. It reinforces learning in new and engaging ways, he said. The app, which is customizable, can locate knowledge gaps and make suggestions, Brown said. “It’s a companion to the traditional mode of learning.”
Brown said one typically gets about six minutes to make a pitch. He plans to talk about the problem his startup is solving, the size of the market, financial modeling and plans to execute it.
“We’re positive about our chances at the competition,” he said.
Pratik Joshi: 303-684-5310, firstname.lastname@example.org