Wakeup Startup holds its first event

Wakeup Startup, an event where entrepreneurs pitch their business concepts to a group of business owners, investors, community members, and Ohio State University students and faculty, is holding its first morning pitch meeting Friday at 7:30 a.m. at OSU’s new Technology Commercialization Office. The office is located in the Student Services Building at 281 W. Lane Ave.

Pitches are limited to just seven minutes and six slides. Those slides should cover the problem the presenter’s business addresses, their solution, a revenue model, a go-to market approach, the current status of their concept, and their ask.

“The goal is to get three seven-minute pitches in and examined by a panel of five folks, which we think will be mixed up over time, giving more of Central Ohio’s biz leaders the opportunity to help if they want to participate,” says Dan Rockwell, co-founder of Big Kitty Labs and one of WUSU’s mentors.

An open mic will also be on hand, so anyone can share their idea and see whether someone in the crowd is interested in helping out through investment, mentoring, development, etc.

“We welcome students, Columbus folks, faculty, you name it,” he says.

The event isn’t just for concept pitches or meeting entrepreneurs who want mentorship, though.

“Its also an opportunity for those who are thinking of being angel investors or would like to learn about what it takes to be an angel investor, to come meet other investors, entrepreneurs and founders, and get their feet wet, make connections, get the ball rolling,” he says.

Joining Rockwell are mentors Brian Zuercher, a Startup Weekend Columbus host and chief marketing officer/co-founder of FlyMuch and Clear Wish; Mike Figliuolo, author of the book One Piece of Paper; and Brian Cummings, vice president of OSU’s Technology Commercialization Office.

Cummings began leading the Technology Commercialization Office, which coordinates all aspects of knowledge transfer and technology development, in June. When his hiring was announced, Cummings noted that technology commercialization at our universities has the ability to “transform economies and drive innovative opportunities.”

“This is an event series that’s not in stone and will evolve, so it’s a grand experiment in some ways,” Rockwell says. “Like anything, we need more data. We need to see who in town has what ideas, what small biz that no one’s ever heard of could use a hand. Likewise, we have killer talent in this town that could be great mentors for people. Lets wake up and get to work.”

To date, more than 100 people have registered to attend the WUSU meeting Friday.

The second WUSU event is scheduled for Dec. 2.

To learn more about Wakeup Startup, visit WakeupStartup.com.