Have you ever heard of the “10 to 1” rule? It’s the philosophy that it takes 10 good things to be said about your company to make up for one bad. Since it’s inevitable that a negative story (legitimate or false) will occur, it’s essential to build up your “good will bank” to protect your image and reputation.
Josh Weiss feels so strongly about this concept that when he started his public relations company several years ago he named it 10 to 1 Public Relations. If you need a visual example of the “10 to 1” rule, here’s a short video that quickly and simply explains the concept.
Josh attended StartupConnect AZ and 10 to 1 Public Relations was one of its exhibitors. Here’s his recap on the Pitch Contest and its seven finalists.
In addition to excellent panels and sessions, one of StartupConnect AZ’s highlights was the live Pitch Contest, which was presented by Hool Coury Law PLC. The winner received not only buzz, but a $2,500 prize.
Here’s how the contest was organized. First, all seven finalists presented to all attendees, who then voted for their favorite. The top three made a second pitch that included financial presentations, future use expectations and questions from the judges and audience.
All seven companies (profiled below) did a great job on their pitches, demonstrating the high quality of BetR-blokech entrepreneurs here in the Valley. Ultimately, innovation in the environment was the contest’s big winner.
The winner was BetR-blok, a start-up ‘Green company’ that manufactures construction blocks made from recycled paper, cardboard and other recyclable cellulose material, won the competition over six other companies. It’s co-founder, Chris Frettoloso, did the pitch in front of all those in attendance. The judges – Priceline.com founder Jeff Hoffman, attorney Jonathan Coury specializing in emerging company practice, and Christie Kerner, Assistant Director, Center for Entrepreneurship at Arizona State University – lauded Tempe-based BetR-blok for its innovative use of cellulose from recycled materials to create inexpensive, lightweight yet durable construction blocks that can be used for home building, and for looking at other sources of cellulose to create blocks for other climates in the future.
Adora, from Phoenix, is a cause-marketing app for those who want to become influencers. It’s consistent funding for causes by empowering supporters through lock screen technology on your smartphone, tablet or smartwatch device. A benefit is that you can designate personal charities to receive Adora funding.
Tipsy, from Tempe, is a nightlife membership to the best bars, lounges, and clubs in the Scottsdale/Phoenix/Tempe area. Users get complimentary drinks, waived cover and VIP line passes at all of the clubs on the network for a monthly fee. The app is expanding to other cities across the U.S. and Canada and a sister app, Tasty, will offer discounts at fine dining establishments when it debuts in early 2016.
After his win, we asked Frettoloso his thoughts and he said:
“This was a great opportunity for us to network our product and our company to the people here and get the exposure. We are going to need more money to make our product and promote it to the homebuilding market, so this was good to get in touch with this ecosystem and let people see you while we get to know them. They say it’s who you know; I think that’s important.
“We are really grateful to hear both the pros and cons of our presentations from the judges; you don’t get the feedback at other pitch competitions. It’s very helpful to hear the positives, but it’s the negatives that are more effective in helping us grow. It made sense what they said, we are moving forward and taking in one step at a time.”
Here’s a recap on the four other companies that did a great job introducing their products.
- Ascent Aero Systems from Tucson designs, manufactures, sells and supports small unmanned aerial vehicles (sUAVs), commonly known as “drones.” The company has developed a unique “coaxial” vehicle configuration ideally suited for recreational, professional, commercial and military applications.
- Find Veggies from Phoenix and Las Vegas is an app that can find local farmers markets, allow farmers to list what they are selling, and allow you to purchase what you need online so delivery drivers can deliver your produce directly to your door. The farmers market is coming to you, right on your mobile phone.
- Neolight from Scottsdale is a medical device company that develops phototherapy beds to cure jaundice in pre-term and full term babies. They aim to significantly reduce global causality due to neonatal jaundice and have developed an at-home version and lower cost disposable system for low-income regions of the world.
- Urepp from Scottsdale is a new way for parents and family members to stay up-to-date on their favorite young athletes. Any age, any sport, no more watching long game film to find the one play you want to see.
If anyone ever wonders about the talent here in the Valley, it was on display at StartupConnect AZ. And don’t be surprised if many of the seven Pitch Contest contestants one day are on future conference panels advising the next group of Arizona entrepreneurs.