In this week’s show you’re going to get a taste of some of the innovative ideas in development by a few of Alabama’s brightest startups delivered at the Birmingham Venture Club's first startup pitch event.
The Birmingham Venture Club was kind enough to let me attend the first round of the inaugural Spark Match Pitch competition held May 26, 2016 at the Harbert Center in downtown Birmingham.
Spark Match Round 1 Competitors
Eight startups were selected from over 25 applicants to participate in the first round of the Spark Match using a video-based application process.
Four of the original eight were selected to advance to the semi-final round set for July 28. Semi-finalists were selected through an audience voting system using the sli.do app.
At the Spark Match, the startups were placed in one of two divisions–the Vulcan Division and the Rickwood Division. If you’re familiar with Birmingham, you probably understand the division names. Vulcan, of course, is the original iron man, the cast iron statue that’s the symbol of the Magic City. Rickwood is the legendary baseball field–America’s oldest surviving professional ball field.
Paul Pless, treasurer of the Birmingham Venture Club and a principal at New Capital Partners, had the planning lead on the Spark Match for the BVC and served as moderator and, what I’ll describe as the, explainer-in-chief for the competition.
The 8 startups pitching in the inaugural Spark Match were:
- 2b Electronic
- Slate XP
For Round 1, startups were asked to focus their 3-minute pitch on defining the problem and explaining the solution their company offered.
Votes were cast to select a finalist for each division, using, as I mentioned, the Sli.do app.
Spark Match Semi-finalists
Alternavist came away as the top vote getter in the Vulcan Division, with Nourish taking the top spot in the Rickwood Division.
Once we had identified the two division winners, a third vote was cast to select two more competitors from the remaining six startups to advance to the semi finals. More on the voting process below, along with information on the dates for Round 2 pitch events.
ShadowSafe and 2b-Electronics took the third and fourth slots to advance.
If you’re a long time listener to Ignite Alabama you might recall that Jake and Cole of Simply Prose were my guests on episode 6 of the show last year. You can still get the episode through iTunes or download it directly here: IgniteAlabama.com/6
The remaining two positions in the at-large vote were ShadowSafe and 2b Electronic.
Once the total votes were tallied the final rankings for the semi-final round of the Spark Match look like this:
1st Seed: Nourish
2nd Seed: Alternavist
3rd Seed: ShadowSafe
4th Seed: 2b Electronic
The semi-finals will play out in two competition rounds.
The top seeded Nourish will meet 4th seed 2b Electronic in the July 28 semi-final round of Spark Match.
2nd seed Alternavisit will face off against 3rd seed ShadowSafe in the Sept. 22 semifinal round.
The Spark Match pitch competition events are open to the public, with the purchase of a ticket. Members of the Birmingham Venture Club attend free.
To learn more visit bvcsparkmatch.com.
Photos of the Spark Match pitch competitors coming soon.
Thank You to the Birmingham Venture Club
I want to extend my thanks to the BVC board, BVC Treasurer and Spark Match coordinator Paul Pless, and Jack Eyer of Relax Its Handled for allowing me to attend round 1, record the pitches for the Ignite Alabama podcast and enjoy a complimentary lunch.
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I’m Sheree Martin, this is the Ignite Alabama podcast. What’s YOUR business idea?