LOUD Capital and Chicago Bulls Announce Semifinalists Featuring Collective Graduate GamerJibe

LOUD Capital, an early-stage alternative investment venture capital firm, in partnership with the Chicago Bulls announced today the 20 semifinalists for the first-ever Chicago Bulls Venture Competition, powered By LOUD Capital (CBVC), a pitch challenge that will provide a platform for start-up entrepreneurs with the opportunity to prove the worth of their business idea and value to the Chicago community.

Making it to the semifinal round are 20 submissions that were evaluated based on: strength of management team; value proposition/unique advantage; relevance of market identification/target audience; scalability; intangibles and funding readiness; impact on the Chicago community; and clarity and presentation. 

“Knowing that venture capital can be a very powerful and empowering pathway, we are always intentional about looking at historically underserved founders. I’m proud to say these 20 semifinalists are diverse and represent many different communities.”

Dr. Navin Goyal, co-founder and CEO of LOUD Capital.
  • Eight of the 20 companies (40%) have at least one minority founder or co-founder 
  • Six of the 20 companies (30%) have at least one female founder or co-founder 

Collective graduate of the second cohort of our program in Austin, TX, GamerJibe finds themselves among incredible company as result of the recognition.

GamerJibe is a platform for gamers and influencers to interact online. It enables gamers, game creators, and influencers to easily interact and do business with each other. GamerJibe allows online gamers to discover new games and other players, play games online with new friends, discuss topics such as gameplay strategy, and attend online virtual events.

Further Roster of the Chicago Bulls Venture Competition:

Charge Running
Charge Running is an app designed to enhance the running experience.

PromoShare is a peer-to-peer, word-of-mouth rewards platform for live events and brands.

FanFood is a mobile ordering platform dedicated to enhancing the guest experience at live events.

TappedIn is a tech-enabled marketing and analytics company that connects consumers and the food and beverage industry at the critical point of purchase.

SplitGym is a peer-to-peer marketplace to buy and sell unused memberships at fitness studios and gyms.

Fanisko offers a one-stop fan engagement platform that helps brands increase mobile fan retention by using innovative digital engagement techniques while increasing revenue opportunities.

Pepper is a connected cooking and nutrition platform. The Pepper smart kitchen scale, which offers integration with smart speaker Amazon Alexa, and guides the user with meal preparation and nutrition management.

Vous Vitamin
Vous Vitamin offers dietary supplements that use survey data and lifestyle information to create bespoke vitamin regimens for users. 

Spotivity is a dynamic and interactive search, mapping, and education app that helps enable users to maximize after-school time.

Gather Voices
Gather Voices offers software that automates creation, management, and publishing of digital videos.

Bitewell is a tech platform that connects users with meals that match their macronutrient and dietary preferences and fitness goals.

Tipoff is a multicultural digital team wordplay game. Revenue comes from app store sales of the game.

Gameday allows fans to buy and sell ownership in new and existing sports teams through a tokenized trading exchange.

Honest Game
More than 800,000 high school students each year find themselves academically ineligible for collegiate athletics.

Careband is a safety and security system for patients with dementia that provides caretakers the ability to track the location of the individual.

PeopleVine is a brand engagement and rewards platform with a portal that gives customers a place to view activities, number of visits, and any earned points/dollars.

Aurora Tights
Aurora Tights is an athletic brand that sells tights in an array of skin tones.

Good Neighbor
Good Neighbor is a mobile platform that seeks to bolster communication and collaboration among neighbors.

StreamLayer is an audience engagement company focused on changing the way we watch live video.

“After an overwhelming level of interest in the first Chicago Bulls Venture Competition, we are impressed by the talented group of Chicagoland entrepreneurs named as semifinalists.”

Matt Kobe, vice president of business strategy and analytics, Chicago Bulls.
  • One winner will receive a $50,000 investment from LOUD Capital as well as legal, promotional, business development services that will be issued in phases. 
  • Each round of the challenge will be judged by Chicagoland professionals who have expertise in an array of sectors, including start-up development, professional sports, business, community engagement, and government.
  • Five finalists and one winner will be announced at halftime during a Bulls home game at the United Center on March 10. 

The remaining four contenders will have the option to work with Chicago-area startup incubator 1871 to continue to implement the content of their business plans to get their plans off the ground.

Collective Takes Home A Scootee!

There are few awards as coveted as the Golden Scooter. Artisan crafted by the recherché Alexandria Marr, Scootee holds it’s place among Oscar, Nobel, and Palme d’Or.

Collective rode home on the inaugural Golden Scooter.

Born of impassioned startup advisors and program Directors from throughout Texas, Marr took upon herself the mission of creating an experience in which the tables are turned for startup founders. Seeing that mission through, supported by DecentBridgepoint Consulting, and Galvanize, Marr found herself at the microphone in front of one of Austin Startup Week’s most notable crowds.

Accelerator & Program Reverse-Pitch

16 programs took the stage throughout the evening but only one would find itself in possession of the first Scootee in history.

The evening was genuinely and incredible and collective effort to help entrepreneurs better know the programs and accelerators that might be a best fit for what they’re doing. While 16 took the stage, Central Texas and the global hub of innovation that Austin is becoming, is now home to some 25 startup oriented curricula and platforms designed specifically with new founders, new ventures, and innovation in mind.

Founders are drilled on their pitch deck, their elevator pitch, and their presentation skills as they plan, prepare, and practice, to bring their ventures to life. Austin Startup Week’s Reverse-Pitch gala put the programs on stage to pitch so that a room of hundreds of founders could hear first hand how the programs work and what they do best for entrepreneurs.

Alexandria Marr could have turned to no one better than Roman Gonzalez, founder of Gardenio, to share the stage in hosting the celebration. As the lights dimmed and hush lulled over the crowd, a spotlight found each of these programs in the hotseat:

  • Tarmac TX – Fostering early-stage startups offering science and technology-based solutions for social and environmental issues.
  • SputnikATX – The accelerator that funds maker-founders; helping people reach their full potential by creating an ecosystem to attract hard-working nerds, connect them with investors, and train them for success.
  • SKU – THE consumer products accelerator; educating and equiping companies with market-validated products for growth into world class brands.
  • Techstars – Over 1,600 companies developed into a combined market capitalization of $18.2bn through this worldwide network.
  • Capital Factory – Focused on helping startups raise funding and increase customer growth by providing coworking space, hosting credits, a Startup Evangelist to advocate for your startup, and access to a mentor network in Texas.
  • Founder Institute – The world’s largest pre-seed accelerator for aspiring and idea-stage entrepreneurs up to the challenge; a comprehensive program to launch a startup with a global network of entrepreneurs to help you be successful
  • SEAL– Austin Technology Incubator’s Student Entrepreneur Acceleration and Launch program which picks the most promising startups emerging from the wide range of entrepreneurial programs to help them confront the next Go / No-Go decision. 
  • DivInc – Bridging the gap between underrepresented entrepreneurs and the resources they need to build profitable, high-growth companies.
  • MassChallenge– A global, zero-equity startup accelerator that has accelerated more than 1,900 startups that have raised more than $4.3 billion in funding and generated $2.5 billion in revenue.
  • Newchip – Making the knowledge, the network, and the communities that develop around strong accelerator programs available to everyone regardless of stage and location in the world.
  • Build Sec Foundry – A long-term incubator helping founders launch security product startups with a community of security professionals and entrepreneurs that provide teams space, mentorship, and access to the most critical services a company needs.
  • Quake Capital – A seed stage venture capital fund and growth accelerator program with funding specific to companies that come through the program and are about more than just money.
  • Impact Hub Accelerator – A free acceleration program based in Austin, TX that develops and brings to market a cohort of solutions focused primarily and purposefully on affordability and workforce development.
  • Texas Venture Labs – Accelerating startups in taking their innovations to market and transforming graduate students into entrepreneurs and business leaders.
  • Bunker Labs – Helping veteran entrepreneurs and military spouses find the quickest route to a successful business; inspiring and equipping with right training and connections to grow those businesses.
  • Collective – Your venture developed from idea to incorporation, in a media and technology focused incubator designed with you in mind; helping you realize the full potential of your talent whether you’re an artist or entrepreneur.
Marr and Nelson??

As Bunker Labs left the stage, a younger, svelte and sophisticated, Willie Nelson stepped to a microphone, guitar in hand. Surely, this must be the latest Health and Pharma program, introducing the latest innovation in aging and stem cell / DNA technology.

And has his lips parted, angels sang, and it was questionable whether or not this was Willie with an overdose of Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Night Moisturizer.

John Zozzaro at the microphone introduced the program of which we’re so personally vested and passionate, that artists and entrepreneurs can meet in the middle through technology and in media innovation, as a collective, we help one another thrive.

Zozzaro struck a chord that night in Austin; a hat tip to the storytellers and songwriters who remind us that even a startup is a matter of passion, creativity, and narrative that makes us sing.

As though everything was right in the world, Impact Hub’s Accelerator, the program through which our Collective was born so that we might focus on impacting our workforce and future, took second. And as you roam the streets of Austin considering that Bird or Lyft, or as you join us in Collective, you might catch a glimpse of that golden scooter; unparalleled artistry and ingenuity thanks to the entrepreneurs of Texas.

Learn more about what we’re doing here