At Peak Pitch, serious Series A- and seed-funded founders interact with top-tier investors, whom they pitch on the ski lift ride up Hunter Mountain.
Peak Pitch was founded by Primary Venture Partners (New York), and that team grew it to a point that the event achieved a lot of positive brand awareness and press, Propelify founder Aaron Price told us. Primary reached out to Price and to Tom Wisniewski, managing partner of Newark Venture Partners, to see if they were interested in taking it over. “We were,” Price said.
The firms had been discussing the deal for several months before it closed in January. The first Peak Pitch event under the new ownership will be on February 23.
Price noted that Propelify had been looking to create other events and offerings besides the festival, which takes place in May. “We’ve been brainstorming creative ideas, and when this opportunity came up it made a lot of sense to us. It’s in line with our strategy to grow the community and create opportunity for people. We see ourselves doing this in a unique way. Even the festival offers a unique environment. This fits in very well as a business strategy, and Propelify community members get first access to the event, to become part of it.
“What we think is special about Propelify is the power of the community,” he continued. “And I think this is a great example of that. We are teaming up with a great New York venture firm and now with a great New Jersey venture firm, and we are New Jersey-based ourselves. We have a unique offering that shows that a rising tide lifts all ships and that when the community comes together we can do great things.”
The first evening of the event includes activities for investors only, so they can network with other investors in the ski-lodge environment. “The next day, we bus up the entrepreneurial community. We hold a breakfast, and people can pair up with investors. Then they sit down with them on the way up the ski lift and make their pitch. After they ski down, they find a new investor and pitch again on the way up. This continues until the afternoon, when there is lunch and networking.” The group heads back to the city before the early evening.
Price said that there is a history of this event attracting some of the best startups in the country, and he continues to set the bar high. Startup founders with big plans and some traction are welcome to apply, as are investors who want to reach these great startups.