NWEN First Look Forum: The top five pitches (Video)

Chris Leyerle of Phytelligence

Pitch events can be incredibly stressful for entrepreneurs. After all, it’s never easy trying to boil your company’s message into a neatly packaged one-minute or 5-minute elevator pitch. It gets even more intense when the room is filled with venture capitalists and angel investors, the folks who provide the much-needed fuel for emerging businesses.

But that was the scene today at the Arctic Hotel in downtown Seattle as 12 startup companies pitched their wares at the Northwest Entrepreneur Network’s First Look Forum.

For many of the companies, it was their first time in the spotlight.

Bill McAleer of Voyager Capital and Bill Bryant of Draper Fisher Jurvetson served as judges, choosing the top presentation among the five finalists. Here’s videos of the top five short pitches, along with descriptions of each of the companies.

Pitch 1: GridMobility’s platform lets businesses and industry for the first time to choose electricity sources based on their business preference to save money, lower their carbon footprint and increase enterprise value. Founder James Holbery.


Pitch 2: Lacuna Systems has developed an early warning system that makes it incredibly easy for companies to prevent Web site disasters. CEO Tom Spoonemore. (Runner up)


Pitch 3: Mountain Logic halves heating and cooling costs for 100 million homeowners with central forced air by only conditioning occupied rooms. CEO Scott Elliott. (Winner)


Pitch 4: Phytelligence provides better plantlets (seedlings) for commercial growers with superior viability, vitality, size, yield, consistency and robustness, fostering horticultural success that is sustainable, lower cost and more productive. CEO Chris Leyerle.


Pitch 5: Relaborate is a content development SaaS solution that inexpensively lets businesses produce a stream of relevant content for their blog. Founder Colin Lamont.

  • Thomas R.

    Entrepreneurs wearing suits and slacks??? What are they pitching insurance? 

    • Nbockner

      I had a similar thought, but I think it is a wonderful thing that our community can embrace the 22 year old entrepreneur as well as the experienced entrepreneur. Particularly with all the talk around us creating an even more productive ecosystem for startups, let’s not forget that great ideas (gasp!) can come from folks over 40. Of course, these folks still need a pool of young techies who will code 24 hours a day to hire from, but that is a different challenge… 

      • http://twitter.com/NWEN_org NWEN

        Thank you, Nbockner! Yes, the community certainly suited-up for last night’s First Look Forum event, and we’re happy to be the organization facilitating such an event. Great buzz in the room before, during, and after all 12 presenting companies. These entrepreneurs are ones to watch, and to your point, we’re happy to see them using their powers wisely in the ecosystem. Rock on Seattle startups!

      • http://twitter.com/NWEN_org NWEN

        Thank you, Nbockner! Yes, the community certainly suited-up for last night’s First Look Forum event, and we’re happy to be the organization facilitating such an event. Great buzz in the room before, during, and after all 12 presenting companies. These entrepreneurs are ones to watch, and to your point, we’re happy to see them using their powers wisely in the ecosystem. Rock on Seattle startups!

    • Nbockner

      I had a similar thought, but I think it is a wonderful thing that our community can embrace the 22 year old entrepreneur as well as the experienced entrepreneur. Particularly with all the talk around us creating an even more productive ecosystem for startups, let’s not forget that great ideas (gasp!) can come from folks over 40. Of course, these folks still need a pool of young techies who will code 24 hours a day to hire from, but that is a different challenge… 

  • http://twitter.com/Seattle_Startup Seattle Startup

    SEATTLE ROCKS for startups! Which one won?

    • johnhcook

      Thanks I should have been more clear in the post, but Mountain Logic took home first prize. 

    • johnhcook

      Thanks I should have been more clear in the post, but Mountain Logic took home first prize. 

  • http://twitter.com/NWEN_org NWEN

    Thank you for the fantastic post, GeekWire! We’re pleased for all of Top 12 presenting companies and thrilled at the response from the audience. This is a great showcase to investors and we’re proud to put it on two times per year.

  • http://twitter.com/NWEN_org NWEN

    Thank you for the fantastic post, GeekWire! We’re pleased for all of Top 12 presenting companies and thrilled at the response from the audience. This is a great showcase to investors and we’re proud to put it on two times per year.

  • http://twitter.com/bryanbrewer206 Bryan Brewer

    Congratulations to all the First Look Forum presenters! It was a pleasure to serve as “Pitch Doctor” for Scott Elliott of Mountain Logic (the winner) and for Colin Lamont of Relaborate, also a top five finalist.

    • OnlyStatesTheObvious

      All future entrants:  Ask for Bryan!

    • OnlyStatesTheObvious

      All future entrants:  Ask for Bryan!

  • http://twitter.com/bryanbrewer206 Bryan Brewer

    Congratulations to all the First Look Forum presenters! It was a pleasure to serve as “Pitch Doctor” for Scott Elliott of Mountain Logic (the winner) and for Colin Lamont of Relaborate, also a top five finalist.