Venture Connectors is excited to share we’ve chosen eight semifinalists to compete in the preliminary round of our 11th annual Venture Sharks™ business competition!

The semifinalists will meet in a virtual, closed session with a panel of judges to present their ideas the week of Sept. 21. During that event, the field will be narrowed to four finalists, who will compete in front of a panel of savvy investor sharks fishing for the next great deal at Venture Connectors’ monthly virtual lunch on Wednesday, Oct. 7.

The semifinalists are:

  • Borderless, an online bank payment processor enabling affordable and direct digital payments from anywhere in the world without the need for foreign bank accounts.
  • BrainSTEM, an educational tech startup that provides in-person and virtual learning via a proprietary virtual learning environment and social network that allows students to participate in STEM classes, projects and clubs.
  • CASPER Security, a company that helps municipalities protect first responders and neighbors from vacant & abandoned property disasters through rapid deployments of a proprietary, solar-powered home security system.
  • FreshEyes Solutions, a business to business technology company. Its debut product is a self-service fragrance kiosk where consumers can learn about fragrances, sample them, and complete the purchase.
  • Pav*r, a Google Calendar integrated productivity tool that assists users in aggregating microdata about the meetings and events on their calendar then using that data to create usable documents like time reports, invoices, mileage reports, project reports, and more.
  • Seats, an investment instrument for small business and start-up funding, in which companies identify $1,000 bands of future revenue and sell these bands at a discount to investors with a Seat contract.
  • Synaptek, a mobile and HIPAA compliant SaaS product that simplifies and optimizes concussion testing, data management and data reporting.
  • Tethyr, a technology product that harnesses content from different sources and gathers them together in one convenient program, letting otherwise conflicting codes play nicely in a singular interface.

One lucky survivor will receive a prize package designed to help them take their idea to market, including a $5,000 cash award, one-on-one mentoring from established entrepreneurs and advisors, as well as in-kind services provided by presenting sponsor Open i Advisors and other valued partners.

Venture Connectors received more than 30 applications from entrepreneurs across the region. With so many fantastic applicants, the Venture Sharks selection committee had to make some tough decisions in order to narrow down the top ideas for the first round of competition. Please join us in congratulating all the entrepreneurs who were brave enough to jump in the water with our Sharks!

Our Oct. 7 finals event will be held via Zoom from noon-1 p.m. and is open to the public. It is free to Venture Connectors members and $10 for guests. Register here.

Sponsorship opportunities for the 2020 Venture Sharks competition still are available. For information, contact Stacey Servo at