AUSTIN, Texas – SpectrumFX claimed the $5,000 first prize as the top elevator pitch at the Buffalo Lounge here late Monday in a competition featuring nine Oklahoma startups.
Ross Faith, Vice President for Business Development made the 90-second pitch for Tulsa-based SpectrumFX, which is marketing a patented product called Firebane that extinguishes all forms of fire, including lithium-ion batteries. SpectrumFX is targeting the airline industry as its initial market with the Lithium-Ion Fire Extinguishing (LIFE) kit so that cabin crew can safely and effectively extinguish the hottest burning fires.
The $10,000 elevator pitch competition was conducted at the 512 Bar in Austin as part of the Oklahoma Buffalo Lounge, a series of Oklahoma interactive, film and music events at the South By Southwest festival. The entrepreneurs pitched their businesses before a Buffalo Lounge audience and a panel of Oklahoma Angel investors.
Two other Oklahoma startups – ICEdot and ReTenant, LLC, both also from Tulsa – each were awarded $2,500 prizes in the pitch competition.
ICEdot is an emergency ID and notification service innovating safety technology for athletes and outdoor enthusiasts. The company has developed a crash sensor that uses Bluetooth technology to notify emergency personnel or family members by text of the user’s location in case of an emergency. Chris Zenthoefer, CEO, presented the ICEdot pitch.
ReTenant, LLC, builds mobile applications for apartment complexes that are used by management personnel and tenants to increase tenant retention, enhance service levels and build community. Jacob Johnson, principal, made the ReTenant presentation.
Finalists for the Buffalo Lounge Elevator Pitch Competition were selected in February from among video-taped submissions by a panel of investment professionals at i2E, Inc., a co-sponsor of the event along with the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber as part of the Office of Entrepreneurial Development.
Faith was “pleasantly surprised” by the award, adding that the process of planning for the pitch competition was very useful to both SpectrumFX and him personally.
“I’ve worked a lot with i2E over the years, which helped me in preparing for the competition,” Faith said. “There were a lot of great Oklahoma companies here in Austin. We’re building a great interactive community in Oklahoma.”
Faith said the competition experience will be helpful on his next big trip — the Paris Air Show in June.
The Buffalo Lounge is a collaborative effort to spotlight Oklahoma companies and innovators at the South By Southwest Conference, which last year attracted more than 50,000 visitors in the areas of film, music and interactive. Several successful companies such as Twitter, Foursquare, Phonebooth and Highlight were either introduced or spotlighted at SXSW.
The Buffalo Lounge began in 2010 when the Oklahoma Film & Music Office, the Idea Collective and the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber led an effort to create a collaborative initiative to increase Oklahoma’s presence at the SXSW festival.