Ski Lift Pitch 2019 Competitors & Judges Announced

2019 Ski Lift Pitch Competitors & Judges Announced

Since its first year in 2014, ABQid’s Ski Lift Pitch competition has brought national attention to New Mexico. The event now puts the state on the map as a place where snow-loving investors and startups convene to identify new business opportunities and build new professional relationships.

ABQid’s Ski Lift Pitch Contest began 5 years ago when ABQid board member, Katie Rice, envisioned a one-of-its-kind startup pitch competition. The idea: startup teams pitch their companies to prestigious investors while they ride the chair lift together to the top of the mountain. After multiple rounds of pitching in this format, three startup finalists are selected to pitch on stage for a chance to win $10,000 non-dilutive capital.

Former contest winners include Taos Mountain Energy Bars, UBQid, EquiSeq, and Twistle, but really, all competitors are winners because they get the opportunity to forge intentional relationships with multiple investors from around the country. This brings value to investors and startups long after the end of the event. Last year, for example, one runner-up went on to receive a $300,000 investment from an investor they met at the Ski Lift Pitch competition. That startup continues to grow, right here in New Mexico.

Tickets to this years event can be purchased at www.skiliftpitch.com.

2019 Competitors

Ski Lift Pitch returns to New Mexico in February 2019, again with the generous support of Taos Ski Valley and many sponsors, investors, and individuals who give their time and resources to make this event a success.

Ski Lift Pitch 2019 is particularly exciting due to the number of New Mexico-based companies that will compete. This year, 50% of finalist companies are from New Mexico, as well as six investor judges. Outside of the Ski Lift Pitch season, we at ABQid works hard to build successful startups in our state, and we also strive to highlight New Mexico as a place where investors look for promising investment opportunities. As such, we couldn’t be more excited to see the New Mexico startup ecosystem thriving and gaining the attention of both in- and out-of-state investors.

Here are the competitors:

  • Boobi Butter: Boobi Butter makes breast health easy, fun, and empowering, encouraging women to perform regular breast-massages and self-checks with our nourishing topical breast care products.
  • Covisus: Covisus develops technology to forge secure, transparent supply chains, helping companies ensure the integrity of their products.
  • Armada Lock: Armada Lock is developing Drone Fleet Management, a SaaS service management platform for commercial drones.
  • Go-Station: Go-Station provides the most advanced rapid electric vehicle charging network in the world.
  • iTherapy Docs: iTherapy Docs provides an agency management platform (SaaS) for Medicaid/Personal Care Services (PCS)
  • K&K Skin Products: K&K Skin Products uses nature’s power plus cutting edge science to achieve healthy skin.  
  • Magnify Your Voice: Magnify provides a civic action network tool to boost civic engagement.
  • Medicheck Mx: Medicheck MX is building an Electronic Health Record Ecosystem for Latin America.
  • NTxBio: NTxBio uses nature’s blueprints to identify and build molecules of market interest.
  • Rest Assured: Rest Assured is creating a fusion of clinical sleep medicine and retail sleep products.
  • Trusted Herd: Trusted Herd’s staffing industry reputation site is the largest, most reputable & only such site in the United States.
  • VisionQuest Biomedical: VisionQuest revolutionizes retinal diagnostics with the EyeStar™ artificial intelligence (AI) reading system, a market-ready, cost-effective solution to screen for Diabetic Retinopathy and other vision threatening eye diseases.

2019 Investor Judges

 

Many Thanks to Our 2019 Sponsors

5 Reasons to Apply to Ski Lift Pitch 2019

Applications for Ski Lift Pitch close January 11 @ 11:59pm MST. Don’t let your early-stage company miss out on this incredible opportunity to meet some of the best investors around at an event like no other!

Need a reason to apply? We have five!

  1. Connections. Ski Lift Pitch offers the opportunity to meet and make meaningful connections with investors from around the country who represent over $100m in deployable capital. You’ll be pitching your startup on the lifts at Taos Ski Valley. A discussion on a chair lift is special for a number of reasons including, a) the fresh air: adrenaline and forward momentum makes for memorable conversations; b) the full attention of the person you’re talking to since they can’t look at their phone (too cold to take off gloves and don’t want to drop it); and, c) a shared experience making a more memorable connection, meaning the investor you’re pitching is way more likely to be willing to help you out with connections and intros and advice in the future.
  2. Cash. A shot at the grand prize, $10K of capital (non-dilutive!) for your startup. Cash is pretty much everyone’s favorite.
  3. Networking. You’ll not only meet investors during the pitches; you’ll have a chance to spend the rest of the day skiing with them and other startup founders. You’ll get to know folks who can open doors, help you with intros, and provide valuable advice.
  4. Taos Ski Valley. A chance to spend a full day outdoors, skiing beautiful Taos Ski Valley–an amazing New Mexico experience. Startup founders work really hard and we don’t always take care of ourselves as well as we should. An active day of skiing is good for the body, mind and soul, especially for those of us who are overworked entrepreneurs. This year, we’ll also be hosting a panel with four Taos companies who have each innovated in their space and are putting this region on the startup map!
  5. Attention. You’ll be part of a unique experience and there’s always the potential to be included in some of the Ski Lift Pitch media coverage. Did you know that the ABQid Ski Lift Pitch has been covered by NPR not just once, but two separate times? See you at Taos Ski Valley!

So, should you apply?

If you’re actively seeking venture funding, have a startup with meaningful validation and traction for an innovative value proposition, and are ready to have productive conversations with investors, YES, YOU SHOULD APPLY. Just note that one of your team members needs to be able to ski or snowboard; and heads up, Taos is known for its steepness! The first round of pitching is done on the ski lifts. If your company makes the final round, a non-skiing member can then do the pitch from the stage.

Guest Column: Opportunity Knocking by Deborah Burns, CEO, investUS LLC

Opportunity Knocking in New Mexico:
A Guest Column by Deborah Burns, CEO investUS LLC

In this guest column, Deborah Burns, CEO, investUS LLC talks about the investment value to be found in locating businesses within Opportunity Zones! She explains why startup CEO’s should be thinking of locating operations in an Opportunity Zone, and using a fund to help their investors avoid capital gains taxes.


One of the best kept secrets of the December 2017 tax legislation is the “Investing for Opportunity Act”.  It’s a timely program offering capital gains tax deferment and reduction to any US taxpayer that invests their capital gain into an Qualified Opportunity Fund (“ QO Fund”) that in turn invests in Opportunity Zone investments.  New Mexico Economic Development Department did a great job nominating 63 eligible New Mexico zones that have now been approved as Opportunity Zones ( interactive map).

The US Treasury department estimates there is over $7 trillion in unrealized capital gains that could be invested into Opportunity Zones given the tax deferment and reduction incentives.    The best feature for Opportunity Zone investment recipients is that the QO Fund investment in their company is also capital gains tax free if it remains invested for at least 10 years.  QO Funds will be a new conduit of investment capital flowing into Opportunity Zone investments driven by the desire to stay invested for at least 10 years to be capital gains tax free upon the exit.

To take advantage of these tax savings, the US tax payer must invest in a QO Fund within 180 days of realizing the taxable gain. It can be a taxable capital gain of any asset by any US taxpayer.  The QO Fund can invest in any qualified business or asset in a US Opportunity Zone excluding “sin” businesses consisting of golf courses, country clubs, massage parlors, hot tub facilities, race tracks or gambling facilities, and liquor stores as defined in the tax legislation.

One would wonder why you haven’t heard of this tax incentive or any promotions for QO Funds.  The lack of press coverage for the legislation hasn’t been helpful. To be sure, putting together a Qualified Investment Fund has its challenges. First, the IRS has yet to write the tax rules for the legislation and there is no indication when it might be forthcoming. To put together a QO Fund today requires hiring a sophisticated tax advisory firm that has a dedicated team focused on the new legislation and experienced tax counsel.  Second, as with any private equity fund, the fund manager must comply with federal and state securities laws, provide fund administration and reporting, financials statements and tax filings for investors. This is harder than it seems since the IRS has not yet created the reporting requirements nor the tax forms. Then there are the various liabilities of any securities offering and investment transaction.  All in all, QO Fund management is a challenging undertaking.

Today, investUS, as fund manager, is actively reviewing investment opportunities in New Mexico Opportunity Zones that are shovel ready now or will be ready for investment in early 2019.

For more details on the tax legislation, tax savings computations and recent IRS FAQ’s, contact your tax advisor or tax attorney.  For more information on the investUS QO Fund, contact Deborah Burns at dburns@investUS-eb5.com.

 

Announcing Nine Competitors for Balloon Pitch 2018 on October 5!

We’re excited to announce the nine companies competing in the ABQid Balloon Pitch 2018, ranging from sophisticated artificial intelligence to camping without hassle, and wifi in space.

The winner of the pitch competition goes home with $10,000, but each startup will have a chance to pitch to seven investors who collectively represent portfolios worth $2 Billion. Tickets to the event on Friday, Oct. 5, at Vara Wines are $25.

In its first year and following the success of Ski Lift Pitch, Balloon Pitch will be held at Vara Wines on Oct. 5. Companies will have five minutes to pitch to the judges, and the winner will go home with $10,000 and fly with hundreds of other balloons in a special ride during an Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Mass Ascension.

The nine competitors are working in a variety of sectors:

  1. DeployHub: DeployHub gets innovation to the software end user faster, without compromising safety. It delivers critical improvements over traditional, monolithic releases by creating an iterative path to end users through its unique Deployment Version Control.
  2. Ibex Aegis: Modernizing right-of-way surveillance with artificial intelligence for the oil and gas industry.
  3. KitFox: Imagine your dream camping site, when you want it, how you want it.
  4. MagPI Innovations: MagPi Innovations researches, develops, and commercializes inventions.
  5. Minnotank: Minnotank takes startups and connects them to investors with one easy-to-use platform.
  6. OneForNeptune: OneForNeptune delivers healthy, high-protein snack foods made from premium quality sustainable seafood. Their wild-caught whitefish jerkies are ethically sourced from small-scale US West Coast fisheries.
  7. Smartloop: Smartloop is an AI company that is using new techniques to build on the chat bot experience for companies who want to connect better with their customers.
  8. Solstar Space: Solstar develops proprietary technologies and payload and space communicator products, providing commercial internet/communications services to astronauts and machines in space. Their services also enable earth-based customers 24/7 direct access to experiments, cubesats, machines, and colleagues located in space.
  9. Zhennovate: Zhennovate is a digital platform to scale personalized resilience development.

More information about investors, sponsors, and purchasing tickets can be found on our Balloon Pitch page.

Congratulations to Honeymoon Brewery!

Honeymoon Brewery, an SFid cohort company, is a top finalist in the Miller Lite Tap the Future competition!  Tap the Future is a pitch competition focused on companies revolutionizing the brewing industry.  Honeymoon Brewery was a semi-finalist on July 19th at the Hobby Center in Houston and won the grand prize of $20,000.  Guest judge Damon John of Shark Tank was there to award Honeymoon for their outstanding innovation.  All of us at ABQid/SFid are so proud and excited for Honeymoon Brewery and their accomplishments!  The company will now head to Chicago in September for a chance to win $200,000 in the finals.  Good luck!

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Click below to learn more about Honeymoon Brewery and Tap the Future.

www.honeymoonbrewery.com

www.mltapthefuture.com