Two tech companies, a maker of custom snowboards and a bike-centric media and education company were among six competitors last Thursday at the eighth annual Pitch Day.
Public relations agency owner Chris Dickey introduced Visably, a cloud-based SaaS (software as a service) platform that will aid marketers looking to land their brands on the first page of search engine results.
“There’s effectively no traffic on the second page of Google,” said Dickey, Visably’s founder and CEO.
Visably analyzes keyword searches against a brand name or product, like “fleece jacket,” to show the number of brand mentions on the first page of the search results. Then it categorizes mentions by type of site: earned media, paid media, e-commerce and brand-owned media.
No other software platform IDs, organizes and tracks brand presence across all those channels, Dickey said. The data exposes a brand’s blind spots so marketers can devise strategies for first-page brand visibility.
“You cannot improve what you cannot measure,” said Dickey, who also runs Purple Orange PR in Jackson.
Franco Snowshapes, a business founded in 2010 to make high-end custom snowboards, is looking to raise money so it can move into a factory with space to make more snowboards and possibly add new lines.
“There’s a good chance we could say yes to skis,” founder Mikey Franco said.
Not unlike custom bikes, bespoke suits and fitted golf clubs, there’s a market for snowboards that are tailored to their riders, including “Henrys” — high earners, not rich yet. Franco Snowshapes’ average selling price is $2,500; the highest sale price was $5,000.
“We create the most beautiful, high-performance snowboard the customer has ever seen,” Franco said.
The business produced 40 last year but has the capacity to make 300 or more.
“We’re looking to move so we don’t have that ceiling,” Franco said.
Buddy Pegs Media is about to roll out its “Buddy Pegs Learn to Ride” program, starting in Bentonville, Arkansas, and Southeast cities with populations of 50,000 or more and a high concentration of young professional families.
CEO Scott Fitzerald, who founded the company with his wife Jannine, said Buddy Pegs will deploy a fleet of vans driven by “coaches” and equipped with bikes and other gear to offer lessons, parties and bike rentals for children ages 2 to 7.
On the media side Buddy Pegs will continue to produce bicycle-themed children’s books and episodes of its podcast series. The idea is to entertain kids and inspire them to get outside and ride.
Fitzgerald spoke of how children today don’t have the kind of childhood experience he had of biking around neighborhoods with friends. Parents today worry about safety, and kids are glued to devices.
“This is about getting kids outside and reimagining childhood as it used to be,” he said.
Authentag is a blockchain-based SaaS system for pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors to track prescription medicines.
Counterfeit medicine is a global epidemic, Chief Operating Officer Rob Torti told the Pitch Day audience.
The software verifies who made a drug and everyone who touched it as it moved through the supply chain.
“It makes it difficult for bad actors to interact with legitimate players. We weave together a full chain of custody,” Torti said.
New rules for verification of all pharmaceuticals sold in the U.S. will drive sales of Authentag, he said. The software can also be used for medical devices.
Authentag will be offered on a subscription basis. The company has been working with Accenture for blockchain development and Deloitte for sales leads to big pharmaceutical companies.
The key priority for Authentag now is to raise capital and add sales people, Torti said.
— Jennifer Dorsey