Bill Blair – special correspondent –
as told to John Jonelis
Bill Blaire here. Mr. Jonelis wants I should go to this FUNDING FEEDING FRENZY thing. Says I’m gonna give a completely different slant compared to the resta this crowd here. I cut my teeth in the Local #1 Boilermakers, then as a Cement Contractor till I packed up my tools fer good.
Me? I’m always open to new ideas. I make loans to all kindsa people. John says I’ll see some real sharks at this place and that strikes me as a nasty crack but I let it slide.
So I get here and whadaya think? Deeze guys is all legit investors. I glad-hand every one o’ them and their little mits all disappear between my hairy fingers. But I gotta give it to ‘em—these guys got balls. They throw money at raw startup companies and win maybe only 3 outa 10—and that’s just if the investors is real smart. They don’t get paid back by the deadbeats neither.
I don’t like them odds at all. Hell—the stuff I put money in gets a guaranteed payout or else, see?
Then I meet Glenn Gottfried—real smart guy. He explains it all to me. These is all private equity deals. Not a loan in the house. The ones that come in can make it big—REAL BIG. I’m talkin 10 times return—sometimes 100 times or more. It’s the stuff they make dreams outa. That gets my juices flowin’ and it’s all legal! Hoo boy, I’m gonna have some fun here!
I remembers catchin’ an episode o’ Shark Tank on TV and so I got the general idea.
I don’t usually get caught dead at no place with a name like Chopin Theater but I always help my friends. And it turns out real nice. This thing goes on all day so they got coffee, booze, food, good seats—my big butt laps across two o’ those. Nobody’s breathin’ down my neck ’cause none of ’em can see over my head. Yeah, it’s all good.
So here I is with my buddy Rocco Spumoni of the Pierce O’Shea Mob. Oops—maybe I oughta call it an investment firm, get the picture? Anyhow, Rocco goes after some gal and I ain’t seen him since. I think her name’s Jane Pickling or something, but I dunno fer sure. Lemme get down to business:
I wanna give you the whole picture first, so in a minute I’m gonna show ya a hard-hitting video from Blackline Review. My buddy David Carmen is part o’ that outfit. They got that catchy name cuzza the L trains here in Chicago. There’s a Blue Line and a Red Line but there ain’t no Black Line. If there was, you can bet they’d build another Ludditis Shots & Beer right under the tracks. Chicago’s best potato pancakes too.
Anyhow, this video gives ya the flavor o’ the whole thing and it’s short:
Check out Blackline Review fer more o’ that kinda stuff.
Phil Murphy of Call Potential was the winner last time. He gives the keynote along with some guy that makes goofy looking glasses that cost an arm and a leg. But hey—people buy that stuff like crazy so who am I? Murphy is real smart. When he’s done speaking he sits down as one o’ the judges. I’ll get back to him later.
The companies is all kinds: From the Bomboard jet ski that fits in my trunk and I want one—John West and Anders Stubkjaer. All the way to Nature’s Little Recyclers, a worm farm that can solve alotta pollution problems—Ed Hubbard.
We get an update report from a terrific company, Palette APP—Jerry Freeman. They’s gettin’ traction now and it’s off to the races.
I’m comin’ back with a lot more on this event so keep yer heads up. Meanwhile, lemme give you the winners:
1st – Smart Gardner – Carl Alquire
Uses high tech to help city people grow their own healthy food.
2nd – Portapure – George Page
We seen this guy before and he’s good. Won alotta awards. Clean water fer the third world.
3rd – Cardoona – Colin Robertson, Jeffrey Herrington
Making it super-easy for restaurants to place orders with ALL their vendors.
The Crowd Favorite – Geek Bar – David Zoltan
And yeah—this one’s a real riot. A bar that celebrates geekdom.
Photo and Video Credits – Royalty Free Images, Glenn Gottfried, Wikipedia, Blackline Review, Donatas Ludditis, John Jonelis
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