Northwest Entrepreneur Network Logo

Spring 2013

This exclusive, bi-annual, invite-only investor showcase is the culmination of an in-depth coaching program that features 12 never-seen-before, early-stage growth-oriented startups from every segment of innovation in the Pacific Northwest. In a fast-paced afternoon, the investor audience votes to select five finalists, who in turn pitch to a panel of the region's top VC's. This standing-room only event is attended by representatives of over 20 venture and investment firms and angel groups…all there to hear pitches from entrepreneurs presenting to the investment community for the very first time! Attendance at this unique event averages over 100, and the only service providers in the room are the event sponsors.

Attending FLF...If you are an accredited investor, write to Daniel Rossi ( to RSVP. Outside requests will be addressed on an individual basis. Thank you.

Top 12 Presenting Companies

(In alphabetical order)
  1. Alanta (Alex Ermolaev) - "Alanta is a web-based sales solution for companies with high value products and services, which combines the ubiquity of the internet with the power of real-time interpersonal communication."
  2. Cart Blanche (Joel Espelien) - "Urbanspoon for apparel. Cart Blanche (CB) is a mobile shopping community app for the female fashion consumer at the mall.
  3. GIVINGtrax (Karrie Hugerford) - "A cloud-marketplace for all business, employee & customer giving, seamlessly connected to social media - the "Facebook" of giving."
  4. The Golfing Society (Alex Dunlop) - "An exclusive, private sale site for the new era, modern golfer - melding the prestige, social, and competitive aspects of golf in an online format to drive engagement and repeat purchases - all while connecting golfers to brand their love of deep discounts."
  5. LightSpeed (Barton Jenson) - "Designs and manufactures head-up display (HUD) systems that enhance information awareness and dramatically improves the safety and efficiency of vehicle or equipment operation."
  6. MovingWorlds (Mark Horoszowski) - "Peace Corps meets"
  7. Nutraberry (David Wishnick) - "Offers premium quality berry seed powder and oil to the health food and supplements industries. Our products utilize a patent pending process to release the dietary fibers and antioxidant-rich properties intrinsic to berry seeds."
  8. Performance Demand Marketing, LLC (Justin Smith) - "Just as Pandora helps listeners receive the music they want with intelligent matching & recommendation services...We match colleges and universities with the students they want for enrollment with T.C.T."
  9. ReelSonar, Inc. (Alex Lebedev) - "Smart Bobber. Think fish bobber meets bluetooth meets app meets social. ReelSonar is a unique, portable smart fish-finder using ultrasound technology and IOS and Android phone and tablet platforms to help catch fish, locate fish, tag hotspots, map waterbeds, identify H2O conditions, and connect casual and fishing enthusiasts to each other. It's the smart fish finder that fits in your pocket."
  10. TapFunder (Kelly McIvor) - "Allows anyone to receive donations of any amount from any mobile phone."
  11. TribeDecide (Marston Gould) - "A social community for requesting and receiving structured advise on important life decisions."
  12. Zone-Trac, Inc. (Joseph Trachtman) - "Based on NASA research, and clinical use of its predecessor, we have developed a consumer, biofeedback device that simultaneously improves vision, and trans concentration due to the unique relationship between the eye and the brain."

Showcase Prizes from Grow50!

Grow50 First Look Forum Prize Sponsorship
Providing a boost to business and job-creation in the state of Washington, Grow50 will donate some of its professional expertise to promising companies. Specifically, Grow50 will be sponsoring the First Look Forum prizes for both Spring and Fall showcases. In total, Grow50 firms will contribute a total of $150,000 in 2013.

  • Spring '13 1st Prize - $50,000 in services
  • Spring '13 2nd Prize - $25,000 in services

Learn more about Grow50 at

Coaches and Pitch Doctors

Coaches... Part coach, part company screener, these individuals are helping us determine the best candidates for the day-of showcase to our investor audience. Based on their evaluation and feedback, our steering committee will make our Top 12 selection.
  • Sarah Bird, SEOmoz
  • Connie Bourassa-Shaw, University of Washington CIE
  • Andy Boyer, Relaborate
  • Doug Brown, All Star Directories
  • Bill Bryant, Draper Fisher Jurvetson
  • Jeff Canin, Canin Advisors
  • Jacob Colker, The Hub Seattle
  • Jeff Coon, Makegood Software
  • Chris DeVore, Founders Co-Op
  • Daniel Gallagher, Voyager Capital
  • David Isett, Concordia Coffee
  • Dan Kranzler, eFund
  • Jonathan Min-Wook, Re-Echo Holdings
  • Joe O'Neill, Tiger Mountain LLC
  • Dave Parker, Founder Institute
  • Tim Porter, Madrona Venture Group
  • Christopher Richins, Space Angels
  • Gary Ritner, Puget Sound Venture Club (PSVC)
  • Daniel Rossi, Northwest Entrepreneur Network (NWEN)
  • Julie Sandler, Madrona Venture Group
  • Jason Stoffer, Maveron Venture Partners
  • Bryan Trussel, Glympse
  • Richard Wood, First Hill Partners

Pitch Doctors... Once we select our Top 12 presenting companies, these well-versed pitch doctors will assist our teams with crafting the perfect 5-minute and 1-minute presentations. It can be done!

  • Bryan Brewer, Funding Quest
  • Mary Burnett, Wunderman Group
  • John Jerome, Jerome & Associates
  • Vin Ricci, Foster Pepper


  • 3/18: Top 12 announced
  • 3/19 - 4/5: Second round of coaching
  • 3/26 - 4/12: Pitch Doctoring
  • 4/9: Individual pitch coaching from Connie Miller of Pivotal Presentations
  • 4/11: Dress rehearsal with the screening committee
  • 4/19: First Look Forum at The Hub Seattle

Don't take our word for it...

"I love NWEN -- the First Look Forum was an amazing process -- it really stress-tested our business model and business plan, and forced us to get really crisp, clear and concise on exactly what we are doing and why. It's hard work, and well worth it!"

"We found our lead investor at the First Look Forum which was above and beyond what we expected and really accelerated our progress towards completing our round and launching our company."

"Lots of investor / VCs reaching out and wanting to set up meetings. I think I have 6 or 7 investment groups with meetings set up so far."

"The coaching process offered a time for deep review and having an open mind to excellent criticism from fresh informed minds."

"How NWEN got all those VCs and angels into one room is somewhat of a miracle!"

"I had a wonderful experience and I have had some exciting developments as a direct result of my participation at the First Look Forum."

Thank You Sponsors!

Platinum Sponsors
Gold Sponsors
Silver Sponsors

Steering Committee

  • Kha Dang, Perkins Coie
  • Daniel Gallagher, Voyager Capital
  • Caitlin Goetze, NWEN
  • Deb Hagen-Lukens, Clarity Communications Consulting
  • Elena Lausberg
  • Geir Hansen, Silicon Valley Bank
  • John Jerome, Jerome and Associates
  • Steve Fisher, Foster Pepper
  • Sue Oliver, Seattle University, Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center
  • Daniel Rossi, Northwest Entrepreneur Network
  • Russ Weed, UniEnergy Technology and Bolong (Dalian) Industry Co
  • Joe Whitford, Davis Wright Tremaine

Partner Thank Yous!

Founder Institute
Pivotal Presentations
Funding Quest
Wunderman Group
Jerome, Bruhn & Associates
Voyager Capital
Startup Seattle
Seattle Angel Conference
Lisa Brandli
Lindsay Sydenham

Look back at previous forums...

Fall 2012... Winner: Exo Labs (Michael Baum)
Spring 2012... 2 Winners! Booktrope (Katherine Sears) and ekt, LLC (Randy Neely)

Fall 2011 (page to be posted)
Spring 2011...Winner: Guide Analytics (Deborah Kessler)

Fall 2010...Winner: Grocery Cart Savings (Ryan Myers)
Spring 2010...Winner: Inside Trip

Fall 2009