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Innovation & Job News

Got three minutes? At Capital Call, it might net your company hundreds of thousands of dollars

Thirteen tech entrepreneurs pitched their companies in front of investors at the District offices of law firm Cooley LLP Wednesday, with startups in a wide range of industries asking for anywhere from a few hundred thousand dollars to $10 million.

Similar pitch events at Cooley have historically resulted in success for both entrepreneurs and investors. Within the last year, Zoomdata, Distil Networks and Aquicore have completed successful funding rounds in part due to their Capital Call pitches.

As with last spring's Capital Call, the companies that pitched varied in size, industry and stage of development. One of the most interesting companies to pitch was VEEDIMS (Virtual Electrical and Electronic Device Interface Management System), an operating system for the Internet of Things built in the District that "links critical data and makes dumb things smart and smart things intelligent," said Claudio Ballard, VEEDIMS company chairman. The company is seeking additional funds for marketing, sales, distribution, integration and fulfilling existing demand. VEEDIMS has 25 employees.

The largest company to pitch was Latinum Network, a B2B subscription service with 45 employees delivering multicultural marketing insights. Company cofounder and CEO David Wellisch is seeking a Series C round to further market and build out Veo, a mobile engagement platform for the network.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, several companies that pitched are still in beta and are looking for capital to launch. One is tkout, which bills itself as the "Kayak.com for takeout and delivery food." tkout aggregates restaurant listings, menus, food ordering sites and deals and incentives. CEO Adam Roussos would like to scale the business model.

Two companies that pitched are tackling government compliance issues. One is Crowdentials, a startup out of Cleveland that wants to change the way businesses and investors navigate investment regulations. 

The other is local. MyVirtualComplianceManager (MyVCM), created by Ostendio, is a cloud-based solution to help small and medium-size businesses manage government compliance issues in the health IT space. Company CEO Grant Elliott and COO Jermaine Jones both come to Ostendio from Voxiva, a District-based interactive mobile health service which was recognized by Fast Company in 2011 as one of the 50 most innovative companies in the world.

Other companies that pitched include:
  • Alchemy Learning, from Baltimore, a platform that "makes sharing knowledge easy," said cofounder Win Smith
  • 1EQ (covered here), creator of Babyscripts, which allows physicians to remotely monitor women who are pregnant
  • Bloompop (covered here), the "Etsy of flowers"
  • Admit.me, a social CRM and admissions platform for higher education
  • Former "Shark Tank" competitor Amber, creator of biometric mobile charging stations
  • Borrowing Magnolia, an online broker for preowned wedding dresses
  • ClickMedix, an eHealth SaaS platform that won InvestMaryland 2014 for IT Hardware/Software, and enables practitioners to serve more patients
  • IDentia, Inc., a tech firm specializing in identity and access management and cloud security.
If you haven't heard of some of these local startups yet, you will. "Over 50% of the presenting companies successfully secure funding as a result of their debut at Capital Call," said Katherine Ferguson, vice president of business development for Cooley, in an email. "Many of those companies go on to raise significant follow-on rounds as they continue to grow.”

Read more articles by Allyson Jacob.

Allyson Jacob is a writer originally hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, and is the Innovation and Job News editor for Elevation DC. Her work has been featured in The Cincinnati Enquirer and Cincinnati CityBeat. Have a tip about a small business or start-up making waves inside the Beltway? Tell her here.
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