As an attendee, I was biased toward Spokto featuring leading pitcher and a former Oklahoma State University student of mine Carter Jarrett. Carter and business partner Ryan Parker, also an OSU alum, have worked tirelessly to establish their carbonated cold-brew coffee around the company’s “Adventure Endlessly” motto.
I was also partial to current OSU student Rupesh Agrawal. AmbreHealth has an opportunity to be a disruptive innovation in health monitoring with the potential to predict impending health events. The focus of Rupesh’s pitch was on detecting sleep apnea.
Both Ironworker Clothing and Take Two Café were unknown entities to me prior to the event. During the pitch portion of the program I was taken by Take Two’s plan to provide transitional employment and housing for women with prior felony records. Deidra Kirtley and ResonanceTulsa.org clearly have a heart for people.
Finally, I was first made aware of finalist Remmi Smith about four years ago by my friends at Apple, Inc. Apple was using Remmi’s web-based cooking show as an example of how simple, yet powerful, video editing tools like iMovie and Final Cut Pro can be. Cook Time with Remmi was profiled on the “Apple and Education” portion of apple.com.
The evening was hosted by Jon Fine, Executive Editor at Inc. Mr. Fine was also one of four judges. Mr. Fine and I had an interesting conversation about the recently released Inc. list of the fastest growing private companies in America.
I also had the pleasure of meeting Jill Donovan, creator and owner of Rustic Cuff. Mrs. Donovan had fans of her own at the event. It was insightful to witness the entrepreneur-customer interactions. My only disappointment was that Mrs. Donovan did not share with me that her men’s line — RC Men — would be featured on ABC’s Good Morning America the next morning.
After five pitches, judges’ questions, and audience questions, Cook Time with Remmi was announced as the winner. With all due respect to Remmi and her co-pitcher Deedra Determan, the real winners were all of us who had the pleasure of witnessing passion turned to action. It was entrepreneurship at its finest!