One of KC’s most-anticipated startup events is set to tease a room full of sharks with the innovations of tomorrow — being built in Kansas City today, said Karen Fenaroli, announcing the eight competitors set for the Oct. 23 Pure Pitch Rally stage.
The one-of-a-kind event helps startups grow by offering nondilutive spot-cash funding to pitchers, as well as exposing investors to homegrown solutions created by Kansas City entrepreneurs, said Fenaroli, Pure Pitch Rally founder and presenting sponsor.
“Our theme for this year is ‘8 is great.’ Eight years into building this platform, we know that we’ve created something truly special: a one-of-a-kind ecosystem integrating funding, mentorship and a tailored startup curriculum that has been proven to help tech startups grow, scale and thrive,” Fenaroli continued. “It’s a game changer for not only our pitchers but also the greater Kansas City community.”
At the Oct. 23 presentation, the startup founders will pitch to about 100 “land sharks” — a nod to the hit TV show “Shark Tank” and Kansas City’s landlocked geography — who will donate $1,000 to the pitcher of their choice. Students from local high school entrepreneurship programs will be on hand to help the audience deliver a People’s Choice cash prize to one lucky startup.
Pure Pitch Rally welcomes startups from all tech sectors working to advance ideas that stand to impact businesses and consumers, ultimately enhancing communities and improving quality of life, Fenaroli said.
Founders and startups selected to pitch this year include:
- EB Systems, Jonathan Ruiz — EB Systems uses mobile apps, proximity-based sensors and wearable Bluetooth devices to create real-time location and reporting systems, changing the way cities and community entities manage and engage with crowds.
- MedCurate, Ashley McClellan — MedCurate utilizes white-label technology and expertise to support and develop the workforce of the future while helping healthcare providers and healthcare organizations save money by maximizing the gig economy.
- EzBizPortal, Jonathan Gregory — EzBizPortal’s marketplace and integrated operations platform streamline and automate processes between medical facilities and equipment vendors, empowering healthcare providers to prioritize patient care.
- InReturn Strategies, Jim Atwater — InReturn Strategies provides tools to simplify how companies capture information to make informed, strategic decisions on how to engage underserved communities through their products, services and jobs.
- Noonan, Matt Williams — With cutting-edge AI, the Noonan Caddie mobile app delivers precision club and aim recommendations, transforming golfer doubts into decisive, informed shots.
- Raise Healthcare Innovation, Craig Mason — Raise Healthcare Innovation integrates with communication tools to analyze healthcare conversations in real time, prompting professionals to detect mental health conditions and deliver support sooner.
- STATSdraft, Topher Enneking — STATSdraft is a gaming app that uses analytics to help users build teams based on the disciplines they believe create a winning culture, ultimately deepening their understanding of and relationship with sports.
- Creative Technology Concepts, Bart Patenaude — Creative Technology Concept’s Zuture is an adhesive patch that closes skin with the precision of stitches and the speed of staples without needles or pain.
The invite-only competition is set for 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 23 at the Burns & McDonnell Global Headquarters Auditorium, 9400 Ward Parkway, Kansas City, Missouri.
The startups’ selection to the 2023 Pure Pitch Rally opens the door to opportunities before, during and after the event, Fenaroli said. In addition to pitching and networking with local executives, community leaders and investors, founders also are invited to participate in five bootcamps that aim to help them build a firm foundation for their business.
Students from local high school entrepreneurship programs on hand for the event will also be invited to join a larger group of students participating in the Reverse Pitch bootcamp in Spring 2024, an interactive real-world exercise in startup problem-solving.
“With participation from those who’ve innovated and won in business all the way down to students who will do so in the future, we are making a collective difference in the lives of so many,” Fenaroli said.
Pure Pitch Rally’s 2023 presenting sponsors include Circle Sideways, Fenaroli & Associates, Forvis, nbkc bank, Park University and Polsinelli. Additional event sponsors include Lockton, Morningstar Communications, Plexpod and Viagio Techologies.
Watch a video from the 2022 Pure Pitch Rally below.