We wanted to try something a bit different this time. We decided to work with fewer companies and have a shorter event. The idea was to keep investors more engaged. We noticed that two hours is very demanding for the investors and we are looking for ways to improve our events.
We kept the pitching to 5 minutes with additional 5 minutes for a Q & A session. This way we were still offering the same opportunity to the startup founders as at the previous events.
At the end of the event, we had the breakout rooms, which seems to be something startup founders and investors enjoyed and look forward to.
Startups That Pitched At The February 17th Online Event
Vegas Rose Media
Sidney Quitorio presents his startup Vegas Rose Media
Vegas Rose Media is a multi-brand entity on a mission to provide exceptional cannabis accessories. The first product line launched was a cannabis cigar mold under the brand Purple Rose Supply. We realized that customers weren’t happy with their standard fast-burning smoking experience, but also didn’t want to pay hundreds of dollars for a pre-made cannabis cigar. To solve this, we created our CannaMold that gives customers the ability to turn their cannabis into a customizable cigar that burns 10x longer than their standard joint. Since 2018, the brand has been financially self-sufficient while growing rapidly. It was able to reach over 1 million in revenue last year. We’ve sold over 42,000 molds at a gross profit margin of 75%, grew 3x, and grew our Instagram following to over 100k. Most of our sales have been direct to consumers through e-commerce, but we’ve also built out strong B2B channels with over 200 global retail partners, 20 Nationwide US distributors, 1 distributor in Spain, and 1 distributor in Canada. We’ve quickly dominated the market and have become the only real competitor within the cannabis cigar mold space. Other competitors are cheap 3d printed knockoffs and the only competitor that produces a high-quality product targets the cannabis cigar producers & not the end-user.
The second product line launched was a whole-leaf hemp wrap under the brand Native Leaf Co. From countless customer surveys and customer requests, we’ve learned that customers don’t feel good about the non-natural & non-cannabis wraps they smoke. They only want to smoke cannabis & they only want to taste cannabis, not the wrap. To solve this, we created a wrap made of naturally cured leaves straight from the cannabis plant -the way nature intended. Now customers no longer have to dilute their cannabis and can enjoy the most natural wrap possible. Along with this, it is the tastiest wrap on the market. It’s won every blind taste test we’ve ever tried.
There are many brands and companies trying to solve the same problem. There are dozens of leaf companies rapidly appearing putting wraps on the market made by curing different types of leaves. Along with natural leaf wraps, rolling paper companies are launching new products with a value proposition of being the thinnest papers out there so customers can get as close to smoking pure cannabis as they can. There are also dozens of processed hemp wraps on the market that differ heavily from our wraps because they are made by processing hemp into paper. However, there are no natural cannabis leaf wraps in the market and that’s where we come in.
Native Leaf was trial launched at the end of 2020 for 3 short months and after its massive success, we’ve decided to invest heavily into the new product line. We’ve locked in stable suppliers in2021 & relaunched at the end of the year. Since then we’ve been building initial traction selling directly to consumers via e-commerce using a waitlist system. This waitlist continues to grow through an invite-only purchase system that allows customers to skip the line by referring their friends. Once we have scaled up production, it will also be sold through the existing distribution channels of our original brand, Purple Rose Supply.
For both brands, the target audience is North American & European cannabis enthusiasts between the ages of 25-35. These enthusiasts want the best smoking experience possible and are willing to pay a premium if they believe they will get more value. The brands have slightly different customer personas. For the CannaMold, it would be the veteran smoker that wants to elevate their smoking experience. Usually between 25-35, Male, Hip-Hop fan with a creative career. For the whole-leaf hemp wrap, it would be the smoker that wants to smoke an all-cannabis product and especially wants a wrap that allows the flavors from their cannabis to shine through. Usually between 25-35, Female loves yoga and wellness.
Since Purple Rose Supply is financially self-sufficient with strong profit margins, the entire investment round will be used to grow & scale Native Leaf.
As far as my background goes, I have over 8 years working as a Software Engineer in Silicon Valley where I gained most of my experience at startups wearing multiple hats. This taught me skills in leading teams, project management, and making important business decisions. Our CMO is Raveena Cheema. She gained most of her marketing experience in Silicon Valley. Our advisor is Steven Jung, who is an expert in the field. He was the former COO of Weemaps& help guide them to their IPO. Now he is the COO of Pax Labs, one of the largest accessory companies in the space.
Anatoly Shcherbakov presnets his startup Magic Kids
Magic Kids is a is game-based education app using AI and AR technologies. We provide delightful experiences using augmented reality and machine learning technology that will keep kids entertained, and more importantly, learning for hours.
- Marketing details
Parents download our app, pay a monthly subscription fee which opens a new world of learning. We have tested different prices for our app. For example $1.99 special offer for 1st month and $9.99 for 2nd and following months. After a lot of A/B tests we have the next price: $30 for 3 months and $80 for an annual plan.
- Road Map
At the end of 2020 we finished the Starta Accelerator in NYC where we launched our MVP. We started spending money on marketing and noticed a good numbers inmarketing and understood how people use that. We have started to update our app in 2021. Now we launched our new version and raised the first part of the round and launch campaign.Now we have around $2,000 monthly revenue and first subscribers. And our goal is to increase our revenue, to test different business models together with Sputnik ATX. And of course to raise up the next investment round.
For the past 5 years our team has developed over 100 AR and AI education and marketing products as an agency. Our brilliant development team is based in East Europe and our biz dev team is based in NYC. Also our team has EXIT experience in the past.
Piyush Sheth presents his startup K Medical
All of us have been in traffic and have experienced sitting in the car for extended periods without relieving the pressure off your back. Imagine being a patient who is immobile and must lay in his/her bed for days, weeks, and sometimes months. These patients develop bed sores also known as pressure ulcers on their backs.
Piyush Sheth has a personal story: his now 2-year-old son went through surgery at the age of 5 months and was laying in the bed for extended periods causing bedsores on the back of his head due to laying in the same position when under anesthesia during and after surgery for ~3 days. Piyush later found that there are millions of immobile handicapped or aging older population who cannot get out of their bed or wheel-chair and develop bedsores on their backs due to no relief of pressure.
His company – K Medical, is focused on bringing effective technologies to prevent bedsores in the immobile and the aging population. K Medical’s new product, which is alternating pressure mattress underlay, is a game-changer for immobile patients.
2.5 million patients are affected every year in the US with bedsores. About sixty thousand (60,000) patients die every year as a direct result of bedsores. Bedsores result in $9.1 –$11.6 billion in treatment costs every year in the US alone. Individual patient care costs is ranging from about $20,900 to $151,700. Pressure ulcers are the most litigated and are the second most cause of civil lawsuits alleging medical malpractice. The average settlement of pressure ulcer lawsuits is $250K with some awards topping $312 million with 87% cases favoring the plaintiffs.
K Medical’s patented mattress underlay with foam top uses compliant mechanisms that will alternate pressure points at any desired interval (every 20 minutes or 2 hours or as required) to prevent bedsores. Alternation of the pressure points is accomplished with extreme ease. The advanced technology of compliant mechanism allows using stored strain energy in stable positions to switch from one stable state to another stable state with force applied on the lever by the side of the mattress that is equivalent to what is required to open a desk drawer.
Compliant structures forming the mattress underlay can be built with sheet metal that can be cut into the desired structure by stamping or EDM to keep the cost of the assembled product under $400 per unit built.
Piyush seeks $500,000 for 10% equity in his company.
Piyush Sheth is the founder with 19 years of industry experience as a med device product developer, operations manager, and MBA in finance.
Dr. Jonathan Hopkins is the pioneer compliant mechanism who has his Ph.D. from MIT and is a professor at the department of aerospace and mechanical engineering at UCLA.
Dr. Karl Steinberg, who is a Geriatrician at the Scripps Clinic, San Diego, and medical director of a skilled nursing facility in Ocean Side, California as a potential clinical advisor.