PitchBreakfast Roundup: Keep It Simple and Just Tell Your Story


What did you miss at PitchBreakfast last week?

One company is solving banks’ data storage issues. Another company understands the importance of customized lending and an app that holds funds for services and eases tension between service providers and clients.

This month we featured three companies involved in Queen City Fintech’s latest accelerator. During the event, each company had five minutes (with slides) to pitch followed by ten minutes of feedback from our panelists.

Queen City Fintech’s accelerator boasts a 3 percent acceptance rate. The three companies who pitched are in the latest group of eight.

The panelists included:

Keeping It Simple

Jim Finnerty, co-Founder of Myriad Data Solutions, presented his company’s solution to make cloud storage safe for banks and money managers. The Zero Trust Cloud Storage technology protects business critical information for banks, government and other regulated enterprise.

Finnerty explained why this new way to securely store sensitive data is necessary.

Angel Rutledge appreciated how he broke it down. “I appreciate that you’ve taken something that could be complex and have simplified it,” she said. “I would like to know about your competitors. Let us know what options they have and how you’re different. You’re selling trust, and I want to know more about that.

Likewise, Mark Bruinooge urged Finnerty to focus on differentiation. “Out in the wild you’re another storage company,” he said. “Differentiation will get you the right ten meetings.  I want to know why you’re different.”

Tell Us a Story

Alice Chikara, a self-described economist at heart and banker by experience, noticed a problem in her years of corporate banking.

There was a disconnect between what borrowers needed and what lending products were available.

So nearly three years ago, she founded Optimonê, a revolutionary technology infrastructure solution for collaborative trade finance and corporate finance.

To start, Chikara described how she arrived to her customized lending solutions product. Bruinooge urged her to get to her point much quicker, while Rutledge thought the pitch might have been a little over their heads.

“You have customers, you have funding, you are so smart, you have to dumb it down for us,” she said.

Friel wanted a more personal approach. “We want to know more about the team,” he said. “Use the story of your background and what you saw with customers being turned away. Use the team story to get us focused on the problem.”

It’s Personal

While in school at Kennesaw State University, Caleb Gilbert worked as a tutor. But, students who failed to show up or canceled at the last minute hurt him financially. So much so, that he walked away from his business.

But the experience prompted him to find a solution.

Gilbert and Payton Jonson founded Esgro, a mobile application that puts funds aside while service is being done, protecting both the service provider and the client.

“I love that you came at this from a very personal standpoint,” Friel said. “One fundamental question is trust. Why should they trust you to hold their money? I would love to learn a little bit more about how you know all the requirements have been settled before you release the funding.”

Esgro currently has 50 letters of intent from future clients, but panelists urged Gilbert to keep looking ahead.

“I want to hear more about what you’re going to figure out in the next six months,” Bruinooge said.

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