Colleagues at Sarasota product design firm Robrady hope to turnaround the Gulf Coast's middling reputation for connecting venture capital with startup companies.
Matt Leiter and some colleagues at Sarasota product design firm Robrady hope to turnaround the Gulf Coast's middling reputation for connecting venture capital with startup companies.
The first step: an alternative investment road show hosted by Robrady and its venture capital unit. The inaugural event, scheduled for March 29 and March 31 at Robrady's headquarters, will be a networking opportunity for investors and the principals of four local companies.
“People generally don't hear about these companies,” Leiter tells Coffee Talk. “It's hard to get a forum because there's not really a platform for it.”
The events aren't elevator pitch sessions, says Leiter. Instead, it's an invitation-only, informal opportunity for companies and investors to get to know each other.
The companies scheduled to appear at the first event include:
• ID Stronghold: The firm makes and sells ID badge holders, wallets and credit card sleeves that create a secure buffer to protect against data theft. Local entrepreneur Walt Augustinowicz founded the Englewood-based firm. (See Business Review, July 9.)
ID Stronghold, which has grown from $1 million in annual revenues in 2008 to $4 million last year, has partnered with Robrady on some design work. Former chief of staff for Gov. Jeb Bush and one-time head of the Florida Department of Transportation Denver Stutler will represent ID Stronghold at the event.
• Ziivaa: A Sarasota-based startup that sells a product for women's health and wellness invented by a Florida chiropractor. The product is scheduled for a summer release.
• XCPT Communication Technologies: The Venice-based firm develops software that enables a dentist to look at a patient's X-rays and other scans in real-time. The company has been listed as a presenter at events hosted by the Gulf Coast Venture Forum, a Naples-based organization.
• Safe IRA Investments: Based in Sarasota, the company buys and sells foreclosed properties, tax deed sales and trustee sales. It works primarily with investors' IRA accounts.
A second investment road show is scheduled for Tampa in late April. To request an invitation to the Sarasota event, send an email to [email protected].