Retail Aware wins $10,000 prize at Get Started Omaha
Cox Business and Inc. Magazine hosted the fifth Get Started Omaha on Thursday, September 20, at the Holland Performing Arts Center in Downtown Omaha. Local startups pitched their business ideas for a chance to win a $10,000 prize package. Founders from each of five pre-selected Omaha-metro based startups had two and one-half minutes to pitch…
Cox Business and Inc. Magazine hosted the fifth Get Started Omaha on Thursday, September 20, at the Holland Performing Arts Center in Downtown Omaha. Local startups pitched their business ideas for a chance to win a $10,000 prize package.
Founders from each of five pre-selected Omaha-metro based startups had two and one-half minutes to pitch their companies, with three minutes following the pitches to answer questions from the panel of four judges.
Retail Aware, Inc. claimed victory, garnering both the most audience votes as well as the judges’ top scores. The prize comprised $7,500 cash from Cox Business and a $2,500 advertising package from Cox Media. Fix plans to use the award to scale up marketing efforts.
Retail Aware, founded by Keith Fix, helps retailers optimize merchandising by leveraging real-time in store data to drive retail sales. Retail Aware’s technology is designed to provide information to retailers such as traffic flow of shoppers past product displays, and dwell time to help them understand what signage and messaging drive the highest consumer engagement.
More than 180 people representing a cross section of local businesses, students and entrepreneurs attended the event. Get Started is now in its fifth year in Omaha. Cox Business (and Cox Media) have infused more than $50,000 of financial support to local startups. The Startup Collaborative sponsored the event.
Ashley Perkins, Cox Business Omaha Vice President and official host kicked off the event with praise for the local entrepreneurial community.
“Tonight is all about the vibrant Omaha startup community and the innovation, job creation and competitiveness they bring to our city. We at Cox Business are passionate about supporting the entrepreneurs in our communities, and that’s why we are here this evening. Because connections change everything,” said Perkins.
When asked about character traits that lend themselves to building and running strong companies, panelist Allie Esch cited resilience, curiosity, and audacity to think big and take risks.
Julie Minton, Senior Marketing Manager for Cox Business moderated.
“Tonight we celebrate Omaha’s entrepreneurial spirit and start-up ecosystem, which is ALIVE and WELL. These competitors and founders are making noise and headlines,” said Minton. “You all have a unique opportunity tonight to network with them and learn from their experiences as to how to create and sustain a successful startup or put a new spark in your current career journey.”
Others pitchers included:
- John Stuifbergen – iHeartYourHouse
A pre-market home buying platform that helps potential buyers express their interest in buying someone’s home before it even goes on the market. iHeartYourHouse gives buyers a jump on the market and the chance to live in the home they’ve set their heart on.
- Karisa Malchow – My Stature, LLC
An online shopping experience with clothing designed for tall women, with options that flatter their stature and are guaranteed to fit. With a made-to-measure approach, each piece is stitched specifically for the woman ordering without having to deal with the hassle and price tag that comes along with tailoring.
- Xavier Jackson – Showcase
A virtual platform in which creatives can sell directly to their audience, connect with like-minded peers and learn about opportunities in their area. Artists can use their profile as a resume of their work and easily integrate into the creative community.
- Shannon Snow & Daniel Lawse – Space Worthy
Addresses storage dilemmas. Space Worthy will utilize a database to run valet-storage, catalog items, collect item history, leverage the sharing economy and more.
The panel of judges included:
- Jon Fine, Executive Director of Editorial, Inc. Media
- Ramon Ray, Editor & Founder of Smart Hustle Magazine and SmallBizTechnology.com
- Victor Gutwein, M25 Managing Director & Board Member
- Allie Esch, Associate, Dundee Venture Capital
We’ll share event highlights, founder profiles and feature stories digging into all things related to Nebraska startups and small businesses. Delivered on Wednesdays.