The 1st annual Columbus Startup Week Pitch Competition kicked off on May 8, the first evening of the five-day entrepreneur celebration. The best of Columbus gathered on stage to present their pitches in competition for $50,000 in advertising prizes from sponsor Dispatch Media Group, as well as for the attention of media, investors, and customers.
Pitch judges, according to the official site of the competition, included “top VCs and entrepreneurs looking for innovative companies to grow to the next level.” The names: Matt McDonough, of Drive Capital; Brian Zuercher, of SEEN; Craig Chambers, the head of Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship for the State of Ohio; Erica Conroy, Ph.D., Director of New Product Development at CoverMyMeds; and Stefphanie Harper, Chief Marketing Officer of the City of Columbus.
While 40 startups applied, a total of six finalists were chosen to offer their pitches, which they gave following the Opening Night Happy Hour presented by Chase for Business. Here's a look at all six. But first, let's see who came out on top:
The Winner: CleanTurn Enterprises
CleanTurn Enterprises, a social entrepreneurship company, took home the grand prize of an advertising campaign worth $25,000. CleanTurn's mission is to:
“Strengthen communities with an empowered workforce by creating profitable social enterprises.”
They currently operate three brands — CleanTurn Demolition Services, SHAN Cleaning Services, and Passion Purpose Profit — but cite their primary purpose as “creating the platform for individuals to realize their potential as human beings.”
Other Outstanding Pitches
The second place winner of a $15,000 ad campaign was the startup Aunt Flow, a tampon subscription box service that donates a box of tampons to those in need for each box bought. Thanks to general squeamishness, the need for tampons often goes unaddressed, but the startup estimates that 26.4 million living in poverty in the United States have to choose between food and tampons.
Grypshon nabbed the third place prize for an ad campaign worth $10,000, thanks to the products it creates, which rely on their high friction surfaces to hold tools while at work. Other great startups that pitched at the event include Healthy Roster, an injury documentation tool that aids athletic trainers in outreach, and Med-Compliance-IQ, a company that simplifies the process of treating chronic wounds, allowing patients to track their conditions on their smartphones.
Similarly, Auditgraph helps streamline the medical process, as it provides innovative labeling solutions for the life sciences industry. In all, the competition presented a wide variety of socially conscious profit-driven startups, all working towards the same goal: Making the world a better place.
Congrats to all the winners and finalists!
Read more about startups in Ohio at Tech.Co
This article is part of a Startup Week content series brought to you by CHASE for BUSINESS. Startup Week is celebration of entrepreneurs in cities around the globe. CHASE for BUSINESS is everything a business needs in one place, from expert advice to valuable products and services. Find business news, stories, insights and expert tips all in one place at Chase.com/forbusiness. Read the rest of our Startup Week series.