VisionTech Partners with Ben Pidgeon - Re-Broadcast

VisionTech Partners with Ben Pidgeon - Re-Broadcast

In this episode, I talk with Ben Pidgeon, Executive Director of Vision Tech Partners, the largest angel investor network in Central Indiana. In the last year, (At the time of recording) they’ve deployed $2.6 million across 8 transactions, with check sizes getting bigger. The network consists of approximately 110 investors that get to decide if they would like to invest in an opportunity, typically focused on life science and technology, with 11-30 angels participating per round.

Ben explains the investment process starting with a screening of about 300 companies per year. At any given time, there are about 20-30 companies on his agenda. The top six companies are then invited to a screening committee meeting, where they give a 20-minute pitch. At the end of that meeting, the investors rank the best opportunity, and that company gets an invitation to go on a roadshow across the state. From there, Vision Tech Partners are able to get a soft level interest amount, and the company enters the diligence phase where research and interviews are conducted. That information is then provided to investors and they then invest in the company.

Topics In This Episode

  • Information that is necessary for a pitch meeting

  • Difference between a top-down and bottom-up approach for valuation

  • How to show a competitive advantage and market differentiation

  • Most awkward moment in a pitch

  • Most impressive moment in a pitch

  • Success rate of companies as they move through the different steps of the investment process from screening to investment  

  • Red flags of valuation versus revenue amounts

  • The Three H’s of building a team

Flixation with David Feinman

Flixation with David Feinman

In this episode, I talk with David Feineman, co-founder of Flixation; an on-demand video editing platform. Users upload video footage, and Flixation then takes that footage and turns it into a completed video for the company, with the help of editors and a creative director on staff.

“We at Flixation really just focus on video editing. So we really have that process nailed down for our customers so that they have this experience that really makes sense for them when they’re ordering a video.

— David Feinman

Flixation was really created as a side product out of their full standard production company. David’s mentor advised him and his co-founder to think of the product beat, meaning, the various different evolutions of the product and service over time, which lead to the start of Flixation. Now, with social media, video content is such an integral part of every part of any business. A company isn’t just doing 1-2 videos a year, they might be doing 100-200 videos per year, but their budgets aren’t increasing. So Flixation is able to streamline the process of creating more video.

Topics In This Episode

  • Creating a product to solve a need in the market

  • How they are different from their competitors

  • Importance of following the product beat

  • How social media has changed the industry

  • Having customer service be a pillar of a company

  • Future trends in video consumption and capture medium

  • Looking ahead to figure out how to incorporate automation in the product

SpellBound with Christina York

SpellBound with Christina York

In this episode, I talk with Christina York, founder and CEO of SpellBound, which uses augmented reality to improve the patient experience for children in hospitals. Spellbound makes the hospital experience less scary for patients, and it motivates them to participate in treatment and recovery. Christina shares ways in which a hospital delivers the products in small and large scale ways.

They have been in the market for 2 years, and currently, have about 25 hospitals around the globe using Spellbound. They do not currently sell in international markets, but have donated it or had hospitals try it out in those countries in order to learn more about those markets, with the plan to go international in three years. The current focus of Spellbound is pediatrics and any hospital that serves children. Within 3-4 years, the plan is to expand the technology to serve adults and go beyond the hospital to clinics and home health care.  

Topics In This Episode:

  • Taking a failed idea and reinventing it to create Spellbound

  • How the technology is used in different departments within a hospital

  • Implementation within a hospital

  • Current status of Spellbound

  • Methods and importance of obtaining quantifiable data

  • Finding talent to work on and develop the technology

  • How to prioritize time spent working in the business, versus on the business

The Startup Ladies with Kristen Cooper

The Startup Ladies with Kristen Cooper

In this episode, I talk with Kristen Cooper, founder and CEO of StartUp Ladies, a for-profit membership organization whose purpose is to increase the number of women who are starting up and scaling businesses. They do that by providing educational programs and creating a community for the next wave of startup investors: teaching them how to invest and connecting them to women and minority-owned businesses

Kristen shares the founding story of how she created a community of like-minded women who wanted to learn from each other. She made a list of the topics she wanted to learn more about and a list of people within that community that could teach on that topic. She shares the process of entrepreneurs and future investors use the online platform to ensure the funders are taking the necessary learning sessions in order to be prepared for conversations with investors.

Topics In This Episode:

  • How to create community in your space

  • Growing that community into a for-profit organization

  • The need for structure, consistency, and accountability

  • Importance of mental wellness for entrepreneurs

  • How to expand a physical community to other physical spaces

  • The kind of people you should have on your team in order to grow and expand

  • Missed opportunities for StartUp Ladies

Visible with Mike Preuss

Visible with Mike Preuss

In this episode, I talk with Mike Preuss, the founder, and CEO of Visible, a tool that helps privately held companies report data to their investors and provide qualitative updates alongside that data. Visible takes data from many different systems you use for your business and puts that into one central place for companies to visualize that data and provide updates to send to investors. One of their core product principles is that they did not want to create another app or system in which you could access data. Instead, they created a product in which anything you can build in Visible, can be rendered directly in the inbox of whoever is receiving it.

“Companies that are reporting data to their investors are much more likely to get follow-on funding are much more likely to have successful future raises, and we want to make sure we build tools that keep that in mind.

— Mike Preuss

Mike shares how Visible is being used in ways that were never envisioned by the founders, but that has helped them grow the product out in ways that make them more versatile. They also use customer feedback and requests to grow new features, as well as enter new global markets. He discusses the differentiation between Visible and their competitors, and how they plan to focus in on a particular type of customer in regards to who they target in the market.

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