With a year of hustle well under way, you can’t break Scollar’s stride, Lisa Tamayo said as she prepares to take the stage in front of a 25,000-plus person crowd May 20 at the Collision tech conference in Toronto.
“[I believe] 15,000 people applied to present a pitch and they whittle that down to 60 to seven to the final three,” Tamayo, CEO of Scollar, said of the conference that celebrates people and companies working to overhaul the world of tech.
Ever tenacious, Tamayo — who in April moved Scollar to Kansas City from San Franciso — will journey north in search of one key thing: investment dollars, she said.
“We found out on [a] Monday that we were accepted to pitch at Collision. … Our team just dropped everything and literally took a 15-minute pitch and shrunk it to three minutes [in a day] — because that’s what we have to do,” she said, noting the opportunity is a can’t miss shot at acceleration.
Click here to read more about Tamayo’s decision to bring Scollar to Kansas City.
Committed to the next stage of growth for Scollar — a smart collar that simplifies the duty of caring for your pet — Tamayo is eager to make in-person connections with the nearly 500 investors and funding experts set to attend the Collision conference.
“I’m reaching out to them through [a Collision event app] and going, ‘Look, I’m going to be pitching, I’m going to have a booth. I want 15 minutes of your time,’” she said of her strategy and business philosophy: Work tirelessly to bring exposure to your ideas.
“For us, the main benefit in being at this prestigious conference is talking to people who patently ignore our emails. That’s the main thing: exposure for Scollar — building the brand and getting these people to look me in the eye so I can show them the collar, talk about the marketplace and the platform,” Tamayo explained.
Such an outlook could potentially aid a future Series A funding round for the presently bootstrapped Scollar, she added.
Beyond Scollar, Kansas City itself will be well represented at the conference, Tamayo said. Narbeli Galindo with the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City and Lesa Mitchell with Techstars will also be in attendance, she noted.
“We’re gonna try to represent Kansas City and figure out how we can — not just represent Scollar — but our new hometown and just take part in everything and pitch like crazy,” Tamayo said.
Nose to the grindstone, her drive to realize Scollar’s full potential could be a byproduct of her roots in the West Coast’s tech-ecosystem. The more likely answer: an appetite for risk, she said.
“[To see a payoff] you have to know your pitch deck inside out — and then you have to [be able to] change it based on feedback from investors,” Tamayo said. “You’ve got to really be prepared. You’ve got to know who you’re talking to. You’ve got to know what questions they’re gonna ask.”
Risk is often rich with reward for entrepreneurs hungry enough to step out on a ledge, she said quickly.
“If you want this, you’re going to have to basically eat beans out of the can, sleep under your desk until you get where you want to go,” she said.
A real life example: Tamayo was able to get on the list for a Small Business Association tour — Road to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit — with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in March.
As a result, Tamayo and Scollar were chosen to present at the summit next month in The Hague, Netherlands.
One of 400 companies chosen from of a pool of 5,000, the opportunity will give the entrepreneur the chance to represent U.S.startup growth and show Scollar off to another set of eager, international investors, she said.