Episode 62 (Running With the Bulls II – Week 1)

-A New Run of Running With the Bulls

This Sunday, we begin our second iteration of our groundbreaking radio feature, “Running With the Bulls”,  as we welcome six NEW entrepreneurs, who will be pitching their companies to three NEW investors, in hopes of raising the investment capital necessary to take their companies to the next level.

As a reminder, last fall’s inaugural “Running With the Bulls” series resulted in a $50,000 investment in a local startup, Optimus Technologies, headed by Colin Huwyler, one of the six entrepreneurs who pitched on our show.  In addition, Albert Ciuksza’s company,Portabeer, won the popular audience vote for last fall’s series, and took home a cash prize of $2,500 as a result.

What will happen this time around?  Tune in over the course of the next six weeks to find out, starting this Sunday, as Raja talks with the man whose help in putting this season’s run together was invaluable, John Manzetti, President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse (PLSG).  The six companies featured this season all come from the PLSG portfolio, and each one is reflective of the PLSG’s comprehensive mission to raise the region’s business profile by providing a platform for emerging businesses to turn their conceptual ideas in a marketable product or service, providing the necessary support and guidance each step of the way.

In addition to talking with John Manzetti about the mission of the PLSG, Raja also spends some time talking with the three local venture capital professionals who will serve as judges for this iteration of Running With the Bulls: James Jordan (Managing Director -PLSG Accelerator Fund), Ned Renzi (Founding Partner - Birchmere Ventures), and Mike Stubler (co-founder and Managing Director - Draper Triangle Ventures).  They discuss their criteria for investment, their philosophy of WHY they invest, and why an effective investment process is more than just simply writing a check.

And if you want to take a sneak peak at the entrepreneurs who will be involved in this iteration of Running With the Bulls, they are, in alphabetical order:

Urmi Ashar (ATHS)

Rick Cancelliere (Treatspace)

Michael Cham (Blenderhouse)

Will Kaigler (New Care Solutions)

Mike Lang (NanoVision Diagnostics)

Ginny Pribanic (MedRespond)

Stay tuned for big news this week regarding the new website for the second iteration of Running With the Bulls, where you can learn more about these great companies, as well as the entrepreneurs and judges.

Plus, as a bonus for our listeners on the FM News Talk 104.7 side, we talk with two close friends of the show, Jerry Cozewith, President of Entrepreneuring Youth, and Karen Morris, wife of the late “American Entrepreneur” Ron Morris.  Ron Morris, who passed away years ago today, had a significant impact on the region’s business climate, not only through his successful career as an entrepreneur and, later, a radio host, but through his role as an educator, at the collegiate level as founding director of Duquesne University’s Entrepreneurial Studies Program and at the scholastic level through his support and mentorship with Entrepreneuring Youth and the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE).

This week, Jerry and Karen, as well as Ron’s children, Jaxon and Lexi Morris, helped honor Ron by presenting the second annual E-Morris award at Entrepreneuring Youth’s annual Ignite Possibilities event at Pittsburgh’s Rivers Club.  The award represents the legacy of Exemplary Entrepreneurship (the “E” in “E-Morris”) that Ron stood for during his career, and that organizations such as Entrepreneuring Youth work tirelessly to preserve throughout the schools of Western Pennsyvlania.  This Sunday, Jerry and Karen join Raja to discuss the award, and to discuss the winner of this year’s prestigious honor (and the financial gift that goes along with it, in order to help the recipient take the next step toward becoming the next great American Entrepreneur).