This morning’s #OpenCoffeeLou took place at the iHub on S. Floyd Street, with New2Lou’s Stacey Servo as moderator. Once again, there were a few new faces among the old faithful attendees, and attendance was in the high 20s.
Congrats to the Code for America Hackathon winners, Eric Roland and Michael Schnuerle. Schnuerle was at the meeting and told us a little bit about the winning prototype. At the Hackathon, co-sponsored by the Mayor’s office and city innovation director Ted Smith’s office, hackers were challenged to create a prototype or app that helps improve the quality of life in the city.
The second-place winner was Dave Durand from Forest Giant (who took first place in last fall’s Startup Weekend) with a bike path app. Third place was a group that came up with a crowdsourced neighborhood cleanup prototype (cleanuplouisville.org).
The winning app was Safety Check, a mobile app that gives you a rating from 0-10 on how safe you are in your current location based on most recent crimes in your area. The app features a realtime update and doesn’t require wifi. It’s a simple, clear app, and the team is already about halfway through developing it. They plan on finishing soon and putting it into the App Store.
The event lasted all day on Sat., Feb. 23, and featured 18 teams of 1 – 5 people crammed into the LVL1 space on Broadway. Judge Chris Vermilion said that the event showcased the “power of having a simple, clear idea and pitching it well.” The YourMapper blog has more information about the event.
This morning’s meeting had a new feature: a startup pitch. Last week we discussed Kansas City’s 1 Million Cups of Coffee initiative, which allows two startups to pitch for 6 minutes each and get 20 minutes each for feedback at their Open Coffee.
This week we welcomed John Mark Eberhardt, CEO of Got You In, the first universal scheduling app for barbers, already available in the App Store and the Android market.
Got You In is mobile-exclusive, meaning there’s no extra equipment for barbers to buy. They subscribe to Got You In on a monthly or yearly basis, and the app allows for barbers’ clients to see open times and book appointments. The app posts the times that are available for the barber, not the times that aren’t available. “I don’t like to look at things that frustrates me,” says Eberhardt.
It’s a hardy market, says Eberhardt, and one that is underserved by tech. There are approximately 100,000 barber shops in America, and according to Eberhardt barbershops’ revenue grew 18.6 percent during the recession.
Got You In planned to launch in three cities: Louisville, Nashville and Atlanta. But after attending a hair show in Atlanta this weekend, Got You In has been downloaded by barbershops in 22 states.
Eberhardt is looking for an investment of $300K, with a minimum investment of $25,000.
During the round of questions, Deborah Boyer asked: “Would you be willing to sell this?” She explained that she thought that perhaps a men’s product line would like to brand this technology.
“I would,” said Eberhardt, “but it would have to be for a whole lot of money because I don’t have another good idea right now.”
Got You In is currently enrolled in an accelerator program in Nashville. Eberhardt calls himself a “serial entrepreneur.”
Venture Sharks: Venture Connectors’ annual 2-round pitch contest. Prize money is currently at $5K, but may be larger. Deadline for entry is April 1.
Startup Weekend is this upcoming weekend. Registration is currently in the mid-50s. More info here.
Stay tuned for information about a startup accelerator program aimed at undergrads offered by KSTC.
Tendai Charasika and Greg Langdon are creating a “Perfect Pitch” webinar, which will broadcast Mar. 14. Go to the GLI website to register.
The podcast Louisville not Kentucky’s 16th episode features startup and Kickstarter entrepreneurs Liz and Jesse Huot from Louisville Grind Burger truck who give a sneak peek at future plans.
Because their last Bourbon Education experience sold out, New2Lou is featuring an encore presentation of Bourbon 101 at the Silver Dollar this Thursday. Sign up online.
Next week, Mar. 4, #OpenCoffeeLou will once again be at the iHub at 8:30 a.m.