The five finalists for a $27,000 pitch competition have been announced.
TS Bank—a bank in Western Iowa—announced the finalists for its “Rev” pitch competition Thursday. They are:
- Appsky Labs of Omaha
- Found of Omaha
- Fyiio of Omaha
- HomeDitty of Des Moines
- Flyover Design Co. of Des Moines
Rachel Cain—Marketing and Event Coordinator for TS Bank—said TS Bank received 16 applications for the competition.
The finalists will pitch Dec. 1 for a chance to win $27,000 for their business. The final pitch competition will be held at “The Venue” within Harrahs in Council Bluffs.
Cain said each founder will have five minutes to pitch their business and judges will be given ten minutes to ask questions.
“Our judges were looking for something that helps with local economic development and helps provide jobs,” Cain says. “Who is providing the most for others? Who is really pursuing something that helps a lot of people and will be impactful in the communities that they serve? That was something that definitely put some contestants above others. Who needs the money that could be a better impact. Those were two things that gave people an edge.”
Previous competitions had a $25,000 grand prize but Cain said Revela of Omaha—a three-time sponsor—donated an additional $2,000 to this year’s prize money.
One company could receive the entire $27,000 grand prize or it could be split between several companies.
Katie Byers—founder of HomeDitty—said she was impressed with how well run the pitch competition has been and commended TS Bank for their work investing in the Midwest entrepreneurial ecosystem.
“While in Council Bluffs for the preliminary round of live pitches, TS Banks staff was incredibly welcoming and their enthusiasm for the event was evident,” Byers said. “HomeDitty is truly honored to be named a finalist amongst a group of very impressive startups.”
Cain said more applications came from Des Moines this year and that overall, the applications were a higher quality this year.
“We are getting some well-established companies with good ideas,” Cain says. “Just like the name, “Rev” we Rev up our contestants and it gets harder to stick.”
This year’s judge panel includes:
- Andrea Frederickson, CEO of Revela,
- Allie Esch of Dundee Venture Capital,
- Daniel Koenig, CEO of Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce
- Nathan Preheim, co-founder of The Startup Collaborative.
TS Bank’s REV Finale will take place from 6-8:30 on Friday, Dec. 1 at ‘The Venue’ within Harrah’s, Council Bluffs.
Networking and appetizers begin at 5 p.m.; pitches start at 6.
This event is free but guests are asked to register here.