Quest for capital by 5 Tampa Bay area firms
Can 12 measly minutes yield millions? That is the mantra of the Florida Venture Capital Conference, an annual gathering of venture capitalists in the state who next month listen to 12-minute pitches by 19 Florida entrepreneurs seeking to grow their businesses with fresh capital. In this aching economy, you'd think they'd get at least 13 minutes. Read more about some Tampa Bay area companies and their outlook for trying to raise money in this column in the St. Petersburg Times.
This is not mom-and-pop stuff. Companies invited to seek 12 minutes of potential fame are culled from many by venture capitalists from Virginia to Florida. The young businesses must show a track record of revenue, growth, a proprietary technology and a management team just to get their foot in the door.
I mentioned four Tampa Bay area companies planning to make their pitches at the Florida Venture Forum, including: OttLite Technologies of Tampa, a designer and marketer of natural daylight lighting; Tampa's RedVector, a provider of online compliance and continuing education for people in the design and construction industry and the long term health care industry; Clearwater's Sunbelt Software, a developer and provider of security software and antispam/antivirus products; and Tampa's Tribridge, a Microsoft-certified consulting firm for businesses.
I failed to mention a fifth contender: Tampa's Avalon HealthcareHoldings, Inc. The company sells consumer-directed, high-deductible health insurance plans to individuals and groups in Florida's, making it the first approved statewide health plan in all 67 counties in 12 years. The company has also created the concept of Micro-Plans for specific markets.
Avalon is run by co-founders Andrew B. Cassidy, the chief operating officer and chairman, and CEO Charles (Chuck) T. O'Neill. Here's a more detailed look at what Avalon does.
So, these area five are among the 19 to make 12-minute pitches to an audience of more than 200 venture capitalists, investment bankers, financial intermediaries and entrepreneurs.
The other 14 Florida firms are: Audigence of Melbourne, BioMers Products, LLC of Naples, Digital Risk of Orlando, Disc Motion Technologies of Boca Raton, Intermark Foods (El Latino!) of Miami, iSorona, LLC of Panama City, MyTherapyJournal.com, LLC of Jupiter,ScriptRX of Palm Beach, Sharklet Technologies, Inc. of Alachua, T3 Communications, Inc. of Ft. Myers, Transgeneron Therapeutics, Inc. of Gainesville, TxtVox, Inc. of Boca Raton, Virsona, Inc. of Boca Raton and Wound Technology Network, Inc. of Hollywood.
More information is available about the upcoming conference, Feb. 3-4, at the Naples Grande Beach Resort in Naples.
-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist