PINELLAS COUNTY (December 17, 2013) – The WorkNet Pinellas StartUp QuestTM Pitch Day, held at the Safety Harbor Resort and Spa last Wednesday, boasted a large turnout and incredible presentations by the program’s 13 teams.
The Pitch Day competition was the moment participants had been working towards for nine weeks. It was their chance to show what they’ve learned as they pitched a real product concept and business plan to three experienced judges: Dr. Cynthia Johnson from Pinellas County Economic Development; Roland Feijoo, founder of Extensys Inc., co-founder and managing member of MDIntellesys, LLC, and WorkNet Pinellas board member; and Kunal Jain, founder of Practiceforces and founding President of TiE Tampa. Prior to pitch day the judges reviewed and scored each team’s business plan, which made up half the teams’ final scores.
On the day of the competition, each team was given 10 minutes to hit the main points of their business plan such as how their product differed from those that are already available, the product’s cost, marketability, return on investment, etc.
Team Stay Alert, mentored by Timothy Freriks, was awarded third place for their driver fatigue alarm system. Team Hug Safe, mentored by Steve Lightburn, was awarded second place for their product that restores bridge pilings while stopping corrosion. Team Solar Amp, mentored by William “Bill” Roeling, was awarded first place for their increased efficiency solar panels that harvests infrared energy.
Each winning team member received either an $800 cash prize for first place, a $500 cash prize for second place, or a $300 cash prize for third place. All winning team members were also given a three-month pass to the Tampa Bay Innovation Center’s Launch Lab where they will have access to an entrepreneurial environment to work out their business and network with other entrepreneurs.
“Through the StartUp QuestTM program, participants have gained valuable skills that will set them apart from their competition in the job market. They have strengthened their team work, research and analytic, and project management skills, among others,” said Ed Peachey, President and CEO of WorkNet Pinellas. “We also hope these skills may inspire participants to begin a new business and therefore create more jobs here in the Tampa Bay region.”
There are still five more chances for interested persons to participate in the StartUp QuestTM program. Tampa Bay WorkForce Alliance will begin its first cohort next month with an informational session planned for January 29. Hillsborough and Pinellas County residents are invited to attend.
For more information on StartUp QuestTM, please visit: https://www.workforcetampa.com/pages/TB_Startup_Quest
About WorkNet Pinellas
WorkNet Pinellas is a member of the Employ Florida statewide network of workforce services and resources. To locate WorkNet Pinellas’ One-Stop Centers visit, www.worknetpinellas.org or call (727) 524-4344. WorkNet is an equal opportunity employer/program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities by calling TTY/TDD 711.