Jewel Toned, a shapewear brand for women, won the top prize at Startupalooza’s final pitch nightof the year at Hive @55on December 11. The monthly event, hosted by CEO Alan Brody, brings investors and entrepreneurs together for quick trade-show style pitching that culminates in a pitch-off between the top startups. The winner receives an invitation worth $1,500 to a Private Equity Forum event.
JewelToned, the winner, isNastyGal meets Spanx, said founder Rachael McCrary. She has years of experience in the lingerie industry and saw a void in seamless full-body shapewear. Compared to other brands, Jewel Toned uses bright colors, costs less and could be mistaken for a form-fitting dress rather than an undergarment.
“Spanx make women feel embarrassed like there’s something wrong with them,” McCrary said.
The products, which are packaged in a flowery box, have margins over 84 percent. The judges chose the company as the winner because they believed it showed the most potential for growth.
MB Groupis developing products from miracle berries that make acidic and sour foods taste sweet. The companyhas relationships with farmers in Ghana so they have the largest supply of berries in the U.S. They can grow the berries cheaply and sell them for less than competitors, said Michele Harris, Director of Marketing and Business Development and CEO Dr. Emmanuel Asare.
The berries work by coating the taste buds on the tongue so the brain perceives acidic food to taste sweet for up to two hours. It could improve the quality of life for chemo patients that have metallic taste in their mouths. It is also helpful in stabilizing blood sugar for those with diabetes and useful as a natural sweetener for health conscious people.In the future they plan to turn the berries into dissolvable tablets and pixie sticks.
So.i.heard musicbrings technology to music school. The company has one school in Milburn, NJ that teaches kids music technology, engineering, song writing along with traditional music lessons.
“It’s music college for kids without scary Russian teachers slapping you on the wrists,” saidowner SeanKillary.
Their first location opened a year and half ago and they are profitable with 200 students. Each location can bring in 800,000 to 1 million per year, Killary said. He is looking to expand to other locations and franchise the business in the northeast and eventually in the west.
HealthMed Corpis developing medications that combine multiple prescriptions into one pill. One of their tablets combines three medications that millions of adults take daily – aspirin, niacin and Crestor, said Founder/CEO Gregory Allison, M.D. He said the company can streamline the process to get the drug to market. They already have an exclusive patent license agreementsand FDA approval.