September Networking Night: Fast Pitches and Fresh Faces

A crowd of entrepreneurs mingle over food and drinks at the Rev offices.

September Networking Night: Fast Pitches and Fresh Faces

Speed dating appeals to some because it cuts to the chase and brings together people seeking connections. Rev’s September networking night, Fast Pitches and Fresh Faces, fulfilled a similar role for Ithaca’s entrepreneurial community.

Many students were in attendance for this first networking night of a new academic year. Since speed was the best way to get to know all the new faces, the six presenting entrepreneurs delivered fast pitches to the audience. 

Rev Director, Ken Rother moderated the presentations. As with the connections he tries to forge in working with Rev members, Rother encouraged those in the audience to reach out to the six entrepreneurs if they had interest or ability to assist in their pursuits.

Jaclyn Weissman pitched her digital retail company The Verticale, of which she is founder and CEO. The Verticale seeks to connect consumers with brands that fit a certain profile: direct-to-consumer companies with quality products who stand for values that go beyond their merchandise. The business celebrated the launch of its website in June and is pursuing seed funding.

Alex Li, co-founder of Green Club, pitched his Kiva-like digital platform that allows the eco-minded to contribute funds towards projects which reduce carbon emissions. The sign up commitment is $10 per month and, since users create a profile, they can stay updated on the progress of projects they’ve helped fund. The company just this month upgraded from their prototype website.

Owen Hoekenga is founder of Cayuga Genetics, a plant breeding company that works to create foods that are higher in nutrients and essential vitamins. Hoekenga points to the two billion people worldwide experiencing zinc and iron deficiency as an example of a need for more nutritionally-dense crops. Cayuga Genetics is currently looking to expand its team.

Josh Tanenbaum wants his business, Fandome, to reengineer how incentivizing sports fans works. By collecting data on the amount of money sports fans spend to support their teams and the quantity of social media coverage they provide, Fandome can identify a team’s biggest fans. Teams can then reward those fans for their loyalty.

Areti Constructionis turning the construction industry on its head. Instead of needing to hire a variety of professionals, customers can use Areti as a single point of service which handles everything from design, supply, building, carpentry, and mechanics for each project. Founder Bill Waring is proud that in 17 months of operation, the company has achieved an unheard of milestone in the construction industry: 0% turnover.

Sam Brickman of Zing! is out to help college students in large lecture halls connect with one another for study sessions through an algorithm which matches students in groups of three or four based on common interests. The startup has some university contracts and word of mouth has led professors to approach the company to help them build community in what can feel like a cold and isolating lecture hall environment.

Join the Rev community for our next networking night on October 24: Go Solo or Grow Your Team?