Venture Sharks

Last week, my company CompassioNote competed in the semifinal round of Venture Sharks.Venture Sharks

We went up against eight other teams, and the top four of those teams (including us, yay!) were chosen to move on to the final round.

Venture Sharks

Venture Capital sponsors the annual Venture Sharks contest in which teams of entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to a panel of judges.

Teams get four minutes to pitch their idea/service/product, and another four minutes to answer questions from the judges.

Each year, there are ten semifinalists chosen from among the fifty or so applicants.

The winner of Startup Weekend (one month beforehand) is automatically accepted as the eleventh entry. That’s how we got involved.

Two of the other ten selected entries had to drop out, so there were only nine teams instead of eleven.

May 4 is also Star Wars day. ‘May the Fourth’ be with you.

The Finalists

These four teams advance to the finals, on May 4th:

  • CompassioNote: That’s us! Aaron Priced pitched our service that compares our customers’ contacts to life events like new homes, new jobs, marriages, and deaths.
  • Farm Specific Technology: Austin Scott invented a flex-roller crimper to make it easier and faster for farmers to remove cover crops and replant cash crops.
  • Switcher Studio: Nick Mattingly (no relation) and his team developed an app/service to make video and sound editing easier and faster. Works on Apple products, and costs roughly $50 a month.
  • Uncrash: Trenton Johnson wrote an app to help body shops and garages with their workflow and customer communication.

Our judges were Alli Truttman (Wicked Sheets), Tendai Charasika (SuperFanU), and Ross Jordan (Yearling Fund).


So who the heck are these guys, and what do they do, anyway?

You can watch this video of our final pitch at Startup Weekend, but even though our company was only one month old by that time, our idea had already matured. (The same can’t necessarily be said of our personal maturity level.)

The one-liner:

  • CompassioNote helps companies have better relationships with their customers by using personalized data.

What that means:

  • CompassioNote compares your list of contacts against several sources for life events so you’re notified when something of interest happens to the people you know.

What that does:

  • It gives you a reason (and a time) to reach out to people that you mostly know, but not all that well, to establish or strengthen that personal bond.

Who this helps:

  • People who raise funds (museum supports, alumni, political campaigns, etc.) can keep up with their important donors.
  • People who sell supplies or services can keep up with their contacts at major clients.
  • People who have a lot of friends and acquaintances don’t have to let those casual relationships fade.

“Being human is good business.”

In essence:

  • We add the human touch back into the processes that automated systems have rendered obsolete, or at least invisible.

The New Stuff

At the semifinals, we announced our integration with Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics, and our partnership with KiZan Technologies on both the development and sales channel fronts.

Your Next Move

If you’d like to find out more about what we do, or become a customer, or refer a customer, sign up for our mailing list and let us know what specifically interests you.

If you’d like to cheer us on at the Venture Sharks finals, register for the luncheon.

If you’d like to help us spread the word, tell your friends about us on LinkedIn and Twitter.