Nine emerging Austin-area companies made the case for funding in a lively, well-attended "Shark Tank"-style competition Monday night at Galvanize Austin, an education and coworking space that opened downtown in March.
"Pitch Black ATX" drew more than 150 audience members who learned about companies offering everything from an assisted-learning tool that uses brainwaves to a fully mobile barber chair to a subscription-box service for big and tall men. It was organized by MVMT50.
The companies pitched included:
- ModoBuddy, an app for finding motorcycle-riding buddies in your area. It was presented by Brandon Nsekpong, who was seeking $100,000 for a 15 percent equity stake.
- Asset Academy, which provides personal assessment for freelance/contract workers companies are seeking to hire. Nicole S. Cooper also sought $100,000 for a 15 percent stake.
- Neil Tanner pitched a peer-to-peer music-sharing platform, Elomix, for a $120,000 ask at a 10 percent stake.
- Steven Wes Riddick pitched Maximus Box, a big-and-tall clothing subscription service. He sought $750,000 in a convertible note to expand the business.
- Natasha Harper-Madison pitched The Floral Engagement, which allows brides to work on their own wedding flowers with a group of friends and family. She sought $400,000 to expand her business to Dallas and Houston.
- John Seigler pitched OFNI, an app that uses an algorithm to see what lines and wait times are at fast food and casual restaurants. He was looking for $500,000 in convertible debt to scale and market the company.
- Zuby Onwatu presented Think and Zoom, which offers early detection and tools to assist children with vision impairments. It would be a $4,900 assisted device that uses brainwaves for hands-free magnification. He sought $500,000 in convertible debt.
- Shawn Rhoder pitched Nohmad, a completely portable barber chair and suite of backpacks and tools for stylists to take their business mobile. The chair would sell for $2,000. He sought $1 million for a negotiable stake in the business.
- Wayne Lopez pitched Ayoopa, a listing service for outdoor and adventure-gear rentals. He was looking for a $500,000 seed round of funding.
The People's Choice winner was Think and Zoom while Maximus Box led the judge's picks. Zuby Onwatu was awarded proceeds from ticket sales and winners received three months of coworking space at Galvanize.
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