vs_Sharktank_headerSquareVenture Connectors has selected four startups to compete in the final round of its 7th annual Venture Sharks competition on Wednesday, May 4. 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 finalists are:

  • CompassioNote: Helps companies have better relationships with their customers by using personalized data.
  • Farm Specific Technology: Produces farm equipment used to manage cover crops and get rid of pesky weeds.
  • Switcher Studio: Develops easy-to-use and affordable live video streaming tools that allows users to create TV-style productions for the web.
  • Uncrash: Helps auto body shops organize their work and connect customers to the repair process.

This year, Venture Connectors 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 13. During that event, the field was narrowed to four finalists. The final round will be held on May 4 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.

For the final round May 4, 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 $23,000 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 prize is more than double the amount of past years, thanks to our generous sponsors. In addition to the main prize, five past winners have pooled their resources and will offer a $250 cash prize to the finalist of their choosing. Logjustrips, Revio, Wicked Sheets, U.S. Chia and Surgical Serenity Solutions may award their special prize to a competitor other than the winner named by the judges.

Sponsors for this year’s Venture Sharks include: Commonwealth Seed Capital and the University of Louisville College of Business, gold sponsors; ARGI Financial, silver sponsor; and Mightily, Stoll Keenon Ogden, Nucleus and McCrorey Digital, in-kind sponsors. This year’s prize is more than double the amount of past years, thanks to all of these generous sponsors. For more about the prize package, click here.

Judges for the final round are: Bob Saunders, general partner, OCAVentures; Elizabeth Rounsavall, director of research and analytics, Chrysalis Ventures; Lou Kelmanson, president, Kelmanson Holdings LLC; and Vik Chadha, managing director, GlowTouch Technologies.

The sharks will come hungry, but only one company will have the right bait!