A minute and a half isn't a lot of time, but for 11 local entrepreneurs, 90 seconds was all they had to pitch their start-up ideas to a panel of judges Tuesday.
More than 175 start-ups applied to participate in the 7th annual Fast Pitch Competition, held at
Among the finalists were a digital platform for making friends offline, a restaurant rewards loyalty program and an online classified marketplace.
Each entrepreneur had 90 seconds to pitch his or her company -- usually beginning with a catchy intro, followed by a formal introduction of the speaker and the company's concept, and ending with a plan for future goals and a request for a specific amount of funding. They weren't allowed to use notes, and were prepped in advanced by a team of Tech Coast Angels coaches.
Here's a snippet from Jeffrey Maganis' pitch for his Newport Beach company, ChargeAll.
“What happens when you’re out and your cellphone dies? Uh-oh, what are you going to do?” Maganis said. “No really, where can you go to charge your cellphone? I’m Jeff, the inventor and founder of ChargeAll. What is ChargeAll? It’s a cellphone charging station for restaurants, bars, hotels, coffee shops -- literally anywhere you spend time. It’s already being used by the Hilton, Four Seasons,
The 10 judges then had 90 seconds to pepper the entrepreneur with follow-up questions, such as revenue model and how many users the start-up already had. After the question-and-answer period, the judges held up presentation scores from 1 to 10, as well as scores for "investability."
TCA handed out awards for best presentation and investability, as well as a People's Choice Award based on audience votes (or rather, texts).
Best presentation went to Fanzooloo, a fan-based travel tool that helps sports fans get the most out of a trip before the game, such as helping them locate cheap parking, last-minute tickets or local beers within the ballpark. Best investability and the People's Choice Award went to Threeday Rule, an invite-only "sophisticated online dating experience." The start-up offers matchmaking and events.
The winners advance to a Tech Coast Angels screening session for actual seed funding consideration.
The event, which was attended by more than 400 venture capitalists, angel investors, UCLA students and entrepreneurs, also featured a panel discussion on L.A.'s tech accelerators and two keynote speakers.