PowderKeg Startup Bowl Results

All twelve companies that competed in the Startup Bowl did fantastic jobs pitching their startups! The overall quality of the companies present at the Lucas Oil showdown was even higher than anyone expected.

The judges (Ting Gootee of Elevate Ventures, Carla Valdes of Fortify, Sonal Mane of Microsoft, and Christopher Day of Navidar) scored the startups on four categories: Market Potential, Value Proposition, Presentation Quality, and the Team. Live voting during Friday’s panel also factored into the overall score for each of the startups.

Thank you to Bonfyre, FoundOps, Squarejive, Lisnr, Team Mash, CoatChex, Diagnotes, Modulus, Pet Bookings, Adproval, Lesson.ly, and Visit Apps for sharing your story and your startups with us!


First Place: Found Ops

Best Team, Most Votes

Oren Shatken did a fantastic job of pitching FoundOps, a company that provides “Logistics for everyone!” Not only did FoundOps tie for the most in-person votes, but the judges believed that they had the best team, according to the scores. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, since everyone that attended the Startup Bowl knows that they have a “Fucking Amazing Team!” Oren reiterated this sentiment, stating “We feel honored to have won given the incredible field of startups. Ultimately, I have to give all credit to our fucking awesome team.”

FoundOps Team (Left to Right): Andrew Pohl (Developer), Oren Shatken (Cofounder and President), Jonathan Perl (Cofounder and President, Tech)


Second Place: VisitApps

Best Presentation, Most Votes

Santiago Jaramillo’s energy lit up the stage, which led to the judges giving VisitApps the highest scores for Presentation Quality. This platform that help Convention and Visitors Bureaus create their own apps tied FoundOps for most votes during the exhibition on Friday. This victory helped cement the trend that the “non-sexy” apps were the ones that fared the best during the PowderKeg Startup Bowl. “The PowderKeg startup bowl was a great way for us to launch our startup and make it public to the midwest startup community. Coming in at 2nd place and hearing positive feedback all week also encouraged us and validated the direction we’re headed in. We were honored to even be chosen to compete among such talented founders and brilliant startup concepts, it was a truly memorable and valuable experience.” -Santiago Jaramillo

VisitApps Team: Adam Weber (left) and Santiago Jaramillo (right)


Third Place: CoatChex

Best Value Proposition

Derek Pacque wasn’t fazed after being introduced as the man that gave Mark Cuban a $200,000 Heisman. His startup, a new high-tech way to easily check coats, presented the best value proposition to the judges, giving them the highest cumulative score in any category. “It’s great to have an event like PowderKeg here in Indy – it brings more attention to what the entrepreneurs in our city are doing and, I would think, encourages others to get involved as well. I’m excited to see how it grows over the next few years!” -Derek Pacque

The CoatChex Team

Recap of the PowderKeg Startup Bowl

Hi everyone! For those of you that weren’t able to make it to the Startup Bowl or just want a refresher, here’s a recap of the afternoon!

After seeing David Blaine at Connections 2012, PowderKeg-ers headed over to Lucas Oil for lunch provided by 250ok. At 2pm, Pete the Planner took the stage to emcee the Startup Bowl. Between pitches, he delighted the audience with witty anecdotes and reminders to use #powderkeg when tweet-ing!


Despite being unable to divulge the extent of their user-base, Bonfyre lit up the stage with Mark Sawyier’s explosive personality as he talked about their private event groups used to chat and share photos. </puns>

FoundOps‘ Jonathan Perl talked about “logistics for all” with their app system whose primary competitor is crude Excel spreadsheets with macros. Oh, and he mentioned something about a “F****** awesome” team!

Next, Squarejive‘s Charles Kelly told us how to answer the questions “What are you doing this weekend, and how did you decide?” Though he initially had a hard time giving up the mike, he answered the judges’ questions succinctly.

Lisnr‘s Chris Ridenour talked about delivering content from bands to people that are currently listening to their music. He wasn’t fazed by anything, including a question about his valuation, demonstrating that Lisnr is more than just “a better Spotifty.”

Zachary Warrner walked us through how Team Mash, a daily email with the best news stories involving your favorite sports teams, resulted from a brainstorm as he transitioned from sports fanatic to devoted father (while quoting Back to the Future.)

After being introduced as the guy that gave Mark Cuban a $200,000 Heisman on Shark Tank, Derek Pacque talked about how CoatChex is just the first step in revolutionizing the bailment system.

After a twenty minute break, during which attendees socialized while drinking energy drinks and eating brownies, the pitches started back up. The general format was 5 minutes to pitch, and 5 minutes of Q&As, starting with questions from the judges: Ting Gootee of Elevate Ventures, Carla Valdes of Fortify, Sonal Mane of Microsoft, and Christopher Day of Navidar.

Attendees started out the second half by getting to see Marc Kleinman and Todd Saxton depicting problems that on-call doctors face in a series of entertaining photos. Diagnotes is the solution, providing doctors with critical, secure information after hours. (Side note: I do have copies of these pictures, just in case you ever need them for anything.)

Next, Modulus‘ business proposition was proven in-house when 1/2 of the developers in the room (roughly 1/6th of the total attendees) said they would pay for Charlie Key’s platform for hosting and providing analytics on Node.js apps.

PetBookings‘ Christopher Tilson walked through their system to make reservations for pet kenels/hotels. Their service even addresses ‘pet hotels’ that require personality checks and other stringent approval procedures while simplifying the reservation process.

Matthew Anderson got several laughs out of the audience, starting his pitch by emulating David Blaine, as shown below. He went on to get even more as he addressed the question of Adproval‘s inception and the idea of blog users being able to control the ads on their blog. “So, I was dating this Asian chick….”

Santiago Jaramillo and Adam Weber magnetically rounded out the set of startups by talking about VisitApps, a system to let Convention and Visitors Bureaus harness mobile apps to engage visitors. Their slide showing exactly how and at what rate they convert cold calls to sales was one of the highlights of the afternoon.

If you’re as excited as I am to find out who won, be sure to place your vote tomorrow at the exhibition and attend the closing party at DeveloperTown, where the winner will be announced! Don’t worry- I’ll be posting it on here tomorrow night for those that are unable to make it. 😀

Final Set of Panelists for the PowderKeg 2012

As Day 2 of Powder Keg nears, we wanted to add even more awesome into the lineup. Here’s who we’re bringing in to our Powder Keg panels on Friday.


The first panel is the Startup Community Panel. Previously announced panelists Manpreet Singh and Carla Valdes will be joined by Frank Gruber.

Frank Gruber

CEO and Co-Founder of Tech Cocktail

Frank is a co-founder of Tech Cocktail, a “media company focused on tech startup events, news & entrepreneurial resources.” His popular blog “Somewhat Frank” ended its run in 2010 so he could focus on Tech Cocktail’s Blog. A maven of web startups, Frank Gruber knows how to effectively build relationships, tell founder stories, and host engaging events, making him the perfect candidate for a panel on Startup Communities.




The final lineup for the panel about “Getting Your First 1,000 Users” has also been finalized. Ryan Paugh and Liam Martin will be joining previously announced Chris McCan.


Ryan Paugh

Chief-of-Staff of the Young Entrepreneur Council

A passionate entrepreneur, Ryan’s current devotion is helping foster entrepreneurship in the younger generations. As the Chief-of-Staff of the YEC, Ryan has the opportunity to help connect seasoned and successful founders with the untried looking for help as they launch their first companies. He helps them get their first 1,000 users and will share his experience tomorrow at the panel.


Liam Martin

Co-Founder of Staff.com

As the Co-Founder of  both Staff.com and Time Doctor, Liam Martin has become an expert on the connecting staff with potential jobs online. His love of process design and marketing driven metrics helped his two fairly-recent companies take of successfully, reaching his “1,000 users” using strategies that he plans on sharing tomorrow.

Getting Ready for the Startup Bowl!

We’re less than three hours away from the “Superbowl of Startups” at the Lucas Oil Stadium!

After a fun and intense morning learning about digital marketing and “unleashed entrepreneurs” at Connections 2012, PowderKeg attendees will be heading over to Lucas Oil to see 12 startups go head-to-head, competing for a $15,000 prize of cash and prizes.

Radio host and personal finance expert Pete the Planner will be on site to emcee the three-hour showdown of entrepreneurial talent!

Ting Gootee of Elevate Ventures, Carla Valdes of Fortify, Sonal Mane of Microsoft, and Christopher Day of Navidar will be judging the Startup Bowl, giving live feedback and rating startups in four categories: Market Opportunity, Value Proposition, Presentation Quality, and the Team. Both the judges’ scorecards and live voting during the Exhibition tomorrow at Crane Bay will factor in to the final scores, with the winner being announced at DeveloperTown on Friday night.

Lunch today will be starting at 1pm at Lucas Oil and is sponsored by 250ok!

The final pitch order is as follows:

1- Bonfyre

2- FoundOps

3- Squarejive

4- Lisnr

5- Team Mash

6- CoatChex


7- Diagnotes

8- Modulus

9- PetBookings

10- Adproval

11- Lesson.ly

12- VisitApps


I look forward to seeing you all here for the Startup Bowl! 😀