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Venture Connectors announces 2018 Venture Sharks finalists; $30K in cash and services up for grabs

Venture Connectors has selected four startups to compete in the final round of its 9th annual Venture Sharks™ business competition on Wednesday, May 2.

Entrepreneurs seeking funding for their business plans will fend for themselves against a panel of savvy investor sharks fishing for the next great deal. The final round will be held during the monthly Venture Connectors’ luncheon meeting at the Muhammad Ali Center, 144 N. Sixth St. Networking begins at 11:30 a.m., and the meeting starts promptly at noon.

The finalists are:

  • Desicorp, developer of a dried blood transfusion unit
  • Innovative Therapeutix Inc., developer of LullaFeed, a feeding device for infants that uses music reinforcement
  • MyNurse, a mobile platform that enables patients and families to easily find a caregiver in real time by geolocation
  • Parasite ID LLC, developer of Lice Detector, a test strip for lice
  • The winner of Startup Weekend will be invited to compete as a fifth finalist

Venture Connectors received more than 40 applications from entrepreneurs across the region. The Venture Sharks committee chose the top ideas for the first round of the competition, held April 9. During that event, the field was narrowed to four finalists. For the final round May 2, presenters will be allowed a few minutes to describe their idea to the judges, who then will fire off questions to the presenters in the style of the popular television show, “Shark Tank.”

One lucky survivor will receive $30,000 in cash and prizes to help them take their idea to market. The Venture Sharks winner will be selected based on the viability of their idea, the ability of the final award to positively impact the business and the quality of their presentation. The winner must agree to use both the cash award and the in-kind services to directly pursue the business opportunity presented in the competition.

In addition to the main prize, an additional cash award will also be presented on May 2. The total (minus processing fees) raised through an online Crowdfunding Campaign will go to a company chosen by the audience via a text message vote during the finals event. The minimum suggested donation is $5 and can be made online here,  or in person during the finals event.

This year’s Venture Sharks title sponsor is the Vogt Invention & Innovation Fund. In kind sponsors are Fort Phelps PLLC, KiZAN, Splash Analytics, Austin Lopesilvero: Web Designer & Entrepreneur, Story Louisville and Venture First. Thanks to many generous sponsors over the years, Venture Sharks has awarded more than $100,000 in prizes since it launched in 2010.

Judges for the 2018 Venture Sharks final round are: Lou Kelmanson, president of Kelmanson Holdings LLC; Sharron Kerrick, dean of Bellarmine University’s W. Fielding Rubel School of Business; and Greg Langdon, angel investor and startup advisor.

RSVPs to the luncheon are required at: www.ventureconnectors.org. The event is free to full members, and $40 for nonmembers.

Venture Connectors is an incorporated, not-for-profit organization, originally formed in 1995 as the Venture Club of Louisville. Venture Connectors’ goal is to connect entrepreneurs, investors, service providers, inventors, academics, practitioners, technologists, students and business experts together to increase the number and quality of new ventures launched from this region. Events include monthly luncheons and the annual Venture Sharks™ competition.

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