VentureConnectors-300x156Venture Sharks, the annual “Shark Tank”-style pitch competition sponsored by the Venture Connectors, announced the 10 companies who have made it into the preliminary round.

These companies will pitch their businesses to and answer questions from a panel of investors on April 16 and 17. Four companies will be selected to advance to the final round. On both evenings the competition will be held at the Nucleus Building at 5:30 p.m.

We were able to track down information about almost all of the preliminary round competitors:

April 16
Wynston — online career and technical education
Zyon Strategies — a Pre-K business solution software
EcoHarbor — tiles made from concrete and recycled materials
WadeZ — a “Fitbit” for swim goggles
YouSawMe — LED reflective safety vest
Recovery Station — a protein shake dispenser

April 17
Calculingua —  a cloud-based mathematical processor
Louisville Fish Co. — a trout farm
GearBrake — a motorcycle brake indicator
CredentialedCare — an employment service for caregivers
TheraBracelet — wearable technology that improves sensation
Million Dollar Scholar — online scholarship tutorial

The qualifications for this year’s competitors:

  • Location, Industry: The competition is open to businesses or entrepreneurs from any industry in any location, but presentations for the preliminary and final rounds of competition must be made in person, in Louisville.
  • Business Establishment: A dedicated LLC or corporation need not have been created, but the idea and business being pitched must not be a direct spinout from a larger parent company. (We expect the parent company to fund this, not Venture Sharks.)
  • Age: The business or idea being pitched must less than 24 months old.
  • Revenue: The business must have less than $75,000 of lifetime revenue.
  • Outside Capitalization: There are no limits on prior funding from founders, friends, and family. The business cannot have raised more than $50,000 from any other outside source.
  • Use of Proceeds: The winner agrees to use both the cash award and the in-kind services to directly pursue the business opportunity presented in the competition.
  • Judging Criteria: At both the preliminary and final competitions, winners will be selected based on the viability of their idea as a business, the ability of the final award to positively impact the business, and the quality of their presentation.

The final round of Venture Sharks will be held at the monthly Venture Connectors lunch at the Muhammad Ali Center on May 7. The winner of Venture Sharks will take home $10,000 for their business.