First 'Pitches and Pints' shows off entrepreneurial efforts

Becky Campbell • Updated Oct 20, 2016 at 10:15 PM

If you have a business start-up idea but need a little infusion of cash, a “shark tank”-style opportunity to pitch that idea could be the way to go, and the first one of its kind was held Thursday night in Johnson City.

If you missed it, don’t worry: one organizer said he hopes the event takes hold and can be held twice a year.

For Pitches and Pints, eight presenters did their best to sell their ideas to a panel of judges who scrutinized each idea, its foundation and its path to success.

“When I moved here two years ago, I never would have expected this,” turnout, said David Nelson, a local business owner, who along with three other young entrepreneurs organized the pitch. “But as I’ve gotten more and more involved in the community, I’ve learned that there is this excitement building around entrepreneurship, having a startup, being a small-business owner, and it just seems to be building and building in this area. I’m not surprised at so much support and excitement, but I’m absolutely thrilled that they all came out today.”

Judges and attendees heard from:

• a tele-health company developer who said his TroyMD Wellness company can reduce healthcare costs for chronic disease management in various ways, including reduced loss of time at work and reduced overall medical expenses;

• a small-business executive whose company, Symply Health, has already developed a smoking cessation program called Symply Quit, delivered through behavioral modification software in a smartphone application. It’s already being implemented in Turkey, he said;

• a ride-sharing entrepreneur operating a business called Tri-Rides, which is designed to use businesses advertising dollars to provide transportation for customers to get to that businesses location;

• a communication company, Stealth Performance Communications, that provides critical communications in chaotic environments such as a large stadium or other large-scale event;

• a soccer coaching business called Base Training that taps into the growth of soccer to provide specific coaching sessions;

• a brand developer that uses a smartphone application called LogoSlap that simplifies the process of branding photos and videos;

• the developer of Insulomatic, a sensor monitoring technology that can assist diabetic patients who use an insulin pump by providing real-time feedback to the patient so they can maintain a more consistent blood glucose level; and

• a partner in Nano Elements Source, which develops quantum dots from microorganisms, which significantly reduces the costs of production. Quantum dots have a variety of applications, including enhancing color accuracy in LCD screens on TVs, phones and laptops. 

Patrick Caveney, the partner in Nano Elements Source, took the top prize of $2,000 to invest into the company. Close to 100 people attended the event and provided enthusiastic feedback for the presenters.

Nelson said the event is evidence that entrepreneurship is alive and well in Johnson City.

“To me it’s just evidence and proof that the Northeast Tennessee, it’s going to be a start-up and entrepreneurial powerhouse,” he said. Nelson said the “pints” part of the event came from the fact that many start-ups and small business ideas are born with two friends having a conversation and sharing a pint of beer.

To keep up with when the next Pitches and Pints will be held, follow the Facebook page, Pitches and Pints.

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