VentureConnectors-300x156Paul Moses, chairman of Venture Connectors, noted that the crowd for today’s luncheon was a little sparse — likely due to a number of members being out at Valhalla hanging with Tiger Woods.

The biggest news out of today’s luncheon is that funding for Louisville startups has more than doubled, year to date, over last year.

Lisa Bajorinas, director of Innovation Network at GLI’s EnterpriseCorp, gave us a “Who’s been funded update?” Year to date, 22 companies have raised more than $16.5 million. Last year during the same time period, 22 companies had raised just over $7 million.

Recently funded companies:

  • SmartLane Technologies: $30,000
  • Petbrosia: $1.1 million
  • Bourbon Barrel Foods: $500,000
  • SuperfanU: $1 million
  • RedeApp: $2.55 million

Moses introduced Amy Higgs, who is now Venture Connectors’ new manager of communications and administration. Higgs owns Write is Might communications consulting and freelance business. Kelsie Smithson will be her assistant.

Moses also announced an upcoming event. Caron DeMars, director of the U.S. State Department’s Global Entrepreneurship Program, will be speaking at the University of Louisville University Club and Alumni Center on Aug. 19 at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 or $10 if you’re a VC member. She will be speaking on “Promoting Entrepreneurship Worldwide.”

Two startups gave five-minute presentations: BlinkScan and PowerTech Water.

BlinkScan is a scanner that scans high-res images and instantly crops and straightens each individual item on the scanner and removes the background. So you could scan 10 pictures on the bed of the scanner and each picture would be delivered to your computer as 10 individual high-res images, straightened and cropped. In three seconds.

PowerTech Water, “just water, nothing else,” delivers really pure water especially for use in laboratories and technologies. It does so in a more power-efficient and less expensive way than its competitors.

Today’s keynote speaker was Nick Such, co-founder of Awesome Inc and Awesome Inc U, about Awesome’s decision to launch a code school.

Awesome Inc launched in 2009 and has started (and shuttered) several different initiatives with the goal of growing the startup community in Kentucky. Over time, Nick and his partners began to see too many startups that didn’t have a product, hadn’t made any sales and didn’t have more than a pitch deck.

They started with training in software development (Ruby on Rails, iOS Apps, video games with Unity 3D), Since 2013, 178 people ages 9 to 55 have gone through the company’s “1-Day Crash Courses,” and nearly 1,000 K-12 students participated in its “Hour of Code” activities in December.

You can view Such’s slide deck for the presentation here.

The following announcements were made in the “30-second announcements” part of the event:

  • Suzanne Bergmeister said that VC is looking for board and committee members.
  • Daniel Johnsen announced the date of the next Startup Weekend: Sept. 19 – 21. More details soon.
  • LaunchIt at Nucleus is open for registration and there is a “lunch and learn” on Aug. 12.
  • Alice Cash, founder of Surgical Serenity, is hiring a chief medical officer, preferably a retired surgeon or anesthesiologist.
  • Startup iPillbox is looking for mentors in the medical field.
  • Bob Saunders let each of the XLerateHealth companies introduce themselves.
  • GE FirstBuild is hiring a full-time Digital Storyteller. Amelia Gandara gave a special shout out to recently unemployed off LEO folks.
  • Derby City Moonshine is opening soon.

Next VC Luncheon is on Sept. 3 at 11:30 a.m. at the Muhammad Ali Center.