Category Archives: sophisticated finance

Florida Statewide Business Plan Competition

Last week I had the pleasure of judging the Sunshine State Venture Challenge — Florida’s only statewide business plan competition. There were two tracks of presenters: Limited Investment and Investment Intensive (my track). Like last year, the event was well-run and a value to participants and judges alike. Among many I enjoyed meeting, it was great seeing a couple fellow bloggers as judges: Robert Hacker of Sophisticated Finance and Chuck Papageorgiou of The Operator’s Blog.

Winners for the two tracks were ToneRite (auto-tuning/aging for string instruments) for Limited Investment and ReDesigningWomen (community/support site for divorced women) for Investment Intensive. For my track, it was a tough decision, but RDW’s entrepreneur combined a strong marketing background with a focused, niche strategy to serve a valuable set of customers.

I was lucky enough to recruit my favorite presenter last year to join one of my portfolio companies. As such, I was on the lookout for my favorite presenter this year. Even though she didn’t win the bizplan competition, I wanted to offer a golden Kangarua for “Best Presenter” to Erica Courtney of Biodiversity & Co. Congrats Erica, the competition winners and all participating finalists. I look forward to watching your businesses grow across the state and nationwide…

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