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Nine startup companies to ‘pitch fast’ during annual networking event


Nine startup companies will practice their investor pitches Thursday to local entrepreneurs, CEOs and university affiliates for an opportunity to gain exposure.

From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Hampton Inn, 101 SE First Ave., the Gainesville Area Innovation Network will host “GAIN 2013 Fast Pitch,” its fourth annual networking event for local entrepreneurs.

The not-for-profit has a mission to inspire, connect and educate entrepreneurs who want to change the world, offering a variety of programs and events.

This event is one of the signature events GAIN puts on every year, said Executive Director Lee May. It’s like speed dating for companies, she said, with a baseball theme.

There will be nine “innings” in which the companies will visit nine tables and pitch their ideas to the “catchers,” or judges. But they only have about two minutes to do so.

The participating companies, which were chosen based on levels of innovation, include eMotion Technologies, Green Liquid and Gas Technologies, Apps for Docs and Partender.

The winner will receive $3,00o in legal fees from Gainesville Startup Lawyer John Montague and a spot in the Florida Venture Forum Early Stage Conference. Last year’s winner, Study Edge, will pass the bat on to this year’s top company.

The judges include Jamie Grooms, CEO of the Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research; and David Day, director of the University of Florida Office of Technology Licensing.

“Our community is really stepping up to develop entrepreneurship. It’s great to see that everyone is so willing to participate,” May said. “It’s a great opportunity for entreprenuers to get exposure and ‘catchers’ who have an interest in investing. I encourage all companies to participate in the coming years as well.”

Tickets for the event are $15.

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