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Venture Connectors announces 2018 Venture Sharks semifinalists; preliminary round set for April 9

Venture Connectors has chosen eight semifinalists to compete in the preliminary round of its 9th annual Venture Sharks business competition on Monday, April 9, at the Muhammad Ali Center, 144 N. Sixth St. Doors open at 5 p.m., and pitches begin at 5:30 p.m. During the event, all eight entrepreneurs will present their business plans to a panel of savvy investor sharks fishing for the next great deal. The field will be narrowed to four finalists, who will then vie for more than $30,000 in cash and prizes at Venture Connectors’ regular monthly lunch on Wednesday, May 2, also at the Muhammad Ali Center.

Venture Connectors received more than 40 applications from entrepreneurs across the region. The Venture Sharks selection committee chose the top ideas for the first round of competition.

The semifinalists are:

Crispy Club, a conversational commerce tool offering design-driven products
Desicorp, developer of a dried blood transfusion unit
Get Clean Online.com, a do-it-yourself, home-based addiction recovery program
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 a test strip for lice
TackleHack.com, an open-source e-commerce marketplace dedicated to hunting, fishing and outdoor goods
White Dog Data LLC, developer of a wireless sensor used in distilling barrels

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.

This year’s Venture Sharks title sponsor is the Vogt Invention & Innovation Fund. 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 preliminary round are Venture Connectors board members Chad Coulter, owner of LouVino; Mike Skura, institutional relationship manager for ARGI Financial, and Alli Truttman, founder and CEO of Wicked Sheets.

RSVPs to the both events are required at www.ventureconnectors.org. The preliminary event on April 9 is $10 for members and guests. The final round on May 2 is free to members and $40 for nonmembers. Doors open at 11:30 a.m., and the meeting runs from noon-1:15 p.m.

From Venture Connectors

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