Cohort 5 – May the Sharks be Ever in your Favor

effie-trinketFor the 5th year running, the Harbour Entrepreneur Center has presented The Capitol with 8 tributes from the districts of Pancar.  The announcement was signified by a violent boom from the skies a few days ago.

Who will survive? Apparently not the Charleston startup community if we dare present the world with another Selachimorpha-themed pitch event.  Investors will stop taking us seriously.  People will stop moving to Charleston for tech jobs. Github could crash. Besides, everyone knows the real deal goes down when a drunk grad student Ubers home with a driver who happens to be an angel investor.

Want proof?  We’ve done our fair share of watching, and here’s our prediction:

The Scholarship System figures out you don’t need college to win a pitch competition in Charleston.  What you need is a pivot to the hiring and employee management sector. They attack eScout with Corporate Culture.

eScout  is prepared, but virtual square knots and pocket-knives are no match for Corporate Culture.

StockAid records a celebrity-filled music video to raise awareness of the Woodstock generation, and (on the advice of Charleston Open Source)  unleashes their own brand of Corporate Culture, spawning a love-in which grinds the competition to a halt.

Auto-Ad impresses the game makers when they pull up in a Red-Bull ad-wrapped custom van blasting the theme song to the A-Team. Also, they bring snacks, which ends the standoff.

uTalk brandishes Employee Engagement with the tagline, “You talk, because I’ve talked enough.”  Pivots to 1-900-DIVORCE.

After some market research, Active Engine  infects all PCs in the tri-county area with an ActiveX control that reverts Windows 10 back to XP.  The game makers finally get their start buttons back.

Pareto App estimates that 80% of investment comes from 20% of investors, takes that investor out to lunch, and scores big.  After launching in beta, the intelligent social media engine learns to tweet Trumpish insults which, defying all logic, inspire more financial contributions.  They company holes up in eastern Oregon to avoid public ire.

RAAD somehow wins the pitch despite dropping 8.5 mega-Vaynerchuks of f-bombs, but burns its capital fighting a City Council ordinance against line cutting.  Originally targeted at northerners merging into traffic, it was interpreted more broadly when John Tecklenburg had to wait in line at the Gaillard, even though he was the opening act.

After a farewell at what used to be the Blind Tiger (may it rest in peace), the cohort decides to split an UberX which turns out to be a MacLaren driven by Russ Hanneman.

The facts clearly show that pitch events don’t do anything but encourage networking, motivate entrepreneurs, and help companies sharpen their message. It’s hard to see how a last-company-standing trial by combat and the presentation of giant novelty checks benefits participants or the community. Good luck, brave tributes. May you bring honour to your regions or die horribly trying.

As for Shrimp & Bits Capital Partners, we will continue to fund the SC Education Lottery. At least some grad student might win a scholarship.

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