Baltimore software product agency TechSlice offered four startups the chance to pitch local investors during its latest Demo Day event.
Those startups that were presented at the Thursday event, which TechSlice held at the Mount Washington building of advertising agency Warschawski, were:
- Clymb, the rebranding of RealLIST Startup 2021 awardee Infinite Focus Schools, which remains dedicated to improving the emotional health of youth
- BLOCKsynop, which developed a device that monitors the neural blocks of anesthesia to quantify the controlled delivery and effectiveness of neural blocks on pain
- Idhini, a digital marketplace providing health information and resources that cater to the BIPOC community
- EcoMap Technologies, a 2022 RealLIST Startups honoree and Equitech Accelerator graduate that uses proprietary algorithms to aggregate information about different community and professional ecosystems
These Demo Days act as an opportunity for startup CEOs to meet investors, present their pitches and get feedback from investors about what they look for in companies that they end up funding. The feedback allows the CEOs to hone in on what they need to change and improve about their current business strategy in order to raise funds.
For instance, Clymb CEO Ashley Williams was asked how she quantifies success for the company’s scholastic programs.
“For me, it looks like reduced violence in our schools,” Williams said at the Demo Day. “For me, it looks like less depression and anxiety, meaning lower suicide rates for our young people. For me, it looks like our teachers have more emotional support in the classrooms.”
BlockSynop cofounder Wayne Sternberger was faced with questions around FDA approval and how much it would cost to reach that stage. The rough estimate was $2 million.
Idhini cofounder Gerard Charlot fielded more audience questions than any other founder. Investors’ queries largely revolved around how to maintain trust in the medical community they built for their users, as well as a more in-depth breakdown of the business model. As he explained, Idhini helps fill the gaps studies and researchers have in finding BIPOC sources for their studies and, in return, makes sure those research participants are adequately compensated.
EcoMap Technologies, the most mature startup of the four, had no questions at the end of the presentation. Mostly it was all applause for CEO Pava LaPere as she announced the company will be looking for investors for a seed round in quarter two of this year.Donte Kirby is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.
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