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Budding entrepreneurs to compete ‘Shark Tank’-style at Pitch & Pour Nov. 10

An app to share African-American-themed comic books and a sensor-enabled fitness armband that allows runners to carry pepper spray or Tasers for personal defense are among the ideas from aspiring business moguls vying for up to $10,000 in cash and prizes in northwest Ohio’s largest entrepreneurial business pitch competition.

Four teams are on deck to pitch their ideas at Pitch & Pour 5.0, which is modeled after the “Shark Tank” TV business show and sponsored by The University of Toledo’s LaunchPad Incubation program.

Pitch-Pour-logoThe annual event is from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10 in the Nitschke Technology Commercialization Complex. Pitches begin at 6 p.m.

Teams have five minutes and five slides to pitch their business concepts to the region’s investors, venture capitalists, professors and business leaders. Judges determine the winner or winners.

“We are proud to be providing the opportunity for candidate companies and entrepreneurs to compete in November’s event here at the heart of our region’s startup community,” said Jessica Sattler, director of economic engagement and business development programs at UT. “We’re looking for high-tech, high-growth, technology-enabled, web-based enterprises that demonstrate innovation and business concepts with the potential to develop into successful companies.”

Investors, students and future entrepreneurs will learn about the companies, their potential and receive helpful insight from the judges.

“Although the prizes we award our competitors are great, gaining exposure to influencers who can spot successful ventures can often prove more valuable,” Sattler said.

The presenting startup teams at the fifth Pitch & Pour event will be:

  • Sport Testing, a laser system paired with a data-collection infrastructure that provides predictive models to identify athletic talent, which could help college athletic recruiters across the country;
  • Peep Game Comix, a proposed app that carries nearly 200 African-American-themed comic books, which will be introduced to libraries across the U.S. and in countries such as Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa;
  • Zid Zid, a web-based platform designed for children ages three to six, which helps parents expose them to world languages;
  • And RunReady, a fitness armband that allows runners to carry personal defense tools without restricting mobility or range of motion.

This year’s judges are Bill McCreary, chief technology officer at UT; Stuart Schaefer, a technology entrepreneur, angel investor and National Science Foundation mentor; and Rita DeRaedt, product designer at Google and host of Technobabble on BBC.

Admission is free. Attendees need to pre-register online at

Pitch & Pour competitors have the opportunity to be invited to join UT’s LaunchPad Incubation Program, which works to bolster innovation in northwest Ohio by providing access to capital, resources and expertise focused on enhancing community collaboration and communication for entrepreneurial development.

is UT's Media Relations Specialist. Contact her at 419.530.2077 or
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