PitchStream 2016 Draws Entrepreneurs from Eugene-Springfield


This week’s Saturday News Round-up doubles as an explanation for our delayed posting. Today we presented the Kazi application at Fermilab’s 2016 PitchStream competition, sponsored by RAIN Eugene. A showcase for some of Eugene-Springfield’s best and brightest entrepreneurs, we were honored (and a little over-awed) by the invitation.

Companies on display included:

  • An exciting portable-tap business, so that you can enjoy your favorite frosty on tap from the comfort of your pub table or even your own home;
  • A culturally-aware design business headed by a Korean dismayed by the inappropriateness of modern-day apparel messaging;
  • An innovative take on cleaning collegiate dirty laundry – a problem with which any visiting parents can surely identify;
  • And many others!

Representatives from the City of Springfield were in attendance as one by one each company had the opportunity to deliver a concise, abbreviated 5 minute pitch. This was followed by a brief Q&A session from a panel of judges.

In some respects, the afternoon was more difficult on the judges than the presenters. Each judge was allowed just one question per company. The benefit, of course, was that the afternoon moved quickly and neither the audience nor the presenting businesses were worn out by a long day. However, it also meant that the judges had to pick their questions very carefully…you could see the wheels turning as they ran down a mental list of inquiries and selected the best ones from their lists.

The Kazi Team was fourth up to the stand and we admit to some nerves as our time approached. The person ahead of us in the line-up presented ToneTip, an innovative mobile app that picks up on sound and catalogs it. In this way, if something (like Smith Rock) is mentioned in conversation or on the radio, your phone will remember the name even if you can’t.

When we finally took the stand, our preparation made the presentation flow like it should. Indeed, we would like to extend a big thank you to David Youngentob, who organized the event and made sure there were no surprises on Pitch Day. Everything ran smoothly and calmly. No one was flustered and it was a welcoming and inspiring environment for the entrepreneurs who attended.

We would also like to thank Sprout! for hosting the event. If you live in Eugene and you haven’t been, we would very much encourage a visit. Ethnic cuisine, excellent (and cheap coffee), and a relaxed environment are big pluses. It was a beautiful sunny spring Eugene day, and we saw many people sitting in the courtyard, enjoying a quiche and soaking in the Vitamin D.

All in, we had a great time at the event and would encourage other entrepreneurs to consider attending (if not presenting) in future years.

(photo credit: FertilabThinkubator)

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