With the second CBK Ventures Pitch Competition coming on November 18, we caught up with two of our past winners, Cody Eddings and Amy Felix, to talk about how their companies have grown and their advice to the new applicants.
Can you give us an overview of your business?
CE: SnapRefund empowers insurance businesses with a digital payment platform that sends instant claim payments. Either as a standalone payment portal, or as an integration with your CMS to automate claim approval, SnapRefund settles payments to insureds in seconds, even on nights and weekends; creating new revenue streams, simplifying operations, and vastly improving the customer experience.
AF: TrackCE is the digital wallet for nurses and doctors. It is a mobile application that allows doctors and nurses to track their continuing education credits for the licenses and certifications.
How did winning the Pitch Competition help you and your startup?
CE: Winning the Pitch Competition helped me and my startup immensely. Not only did we gain exposure from the articles written about our participation in the competition, but the $15K we won gave us incredibly valuable growth capital to maneuver with and stop bootstrapping the business ourselves.
AF: Winning the competition definitely helped our Startup. It was our 1st pitch competition. It gave us recognition in the Philadelphia region, allowed us to meet potential customers, and investors. The funding has supported us with marketing our MVP [minimum viable product] to customers.
Can you give us an update on where you and your company are now? How has your business changed or grown?
CE: Since the CBK Ventures Pitch Competition SnapRefund has gone on to sign 6 new clients, close a $100K investment from Northwestern Mutual, graduate from gener8tor’s Northwestern Mutual Black Founder Accelerator, and participate in Chase Bank’s Minority Entrepreneurship Program.
AF: Currently we are testing our MVP. When we pitched, we had no customers. We currently have 30 customers. We are fine tuning our business model to include B2B options.
What lessons did you learn from participating in the Pitch Competition?
CE: I learned how to craft and deliver a more powerful pitch by adopting a storytelling approach that makes it easy for the audience to connect to the message.
AF: There were so many other great companies that participated in the competition. We learned the importance of having a great idea and developing it into a business. We understood the power of pitching your idea and how feedback can take you to the next step.
Do you have any advice for this round’s applicants?
CE: Humanize your pitch by adding real people and use cases into it: it makes people have an emotional response to your pitch and place themselves in it, and that’s what you need to win (check out brevitypitch.com). Once you have that content make sure you memorize it forwards, backwards, and upside down so that when you pitch you have supreme comfort and confidence. The people listening to your pitch will feel how prepared you are by the smallest subtleties in your delivery (especially your transitions), so you need to make sure you are the most prepared person in the room.
AF: Wishing you the best of luck. Remember that you know your company and only you can explain your company’s story. You got this!
Through the work of 1Philadelphia, the City of Philadelphia, Coded by Kids, and Plain Sight Capital, we are proud to host the CBK Ventures Pitch Competition which provides funding and technical resources for Philadelphia-based Black and Brown tech founders. Our mission is to identify and support tech-enabled startups in Philadelphia run by underrepresented individuals