Tech Startups Take Best Investment and Best Pitch Awards at NJEN Poster/Pitch Contest

Photo: Alan Potosnak and David Tulloss present their poster. Photo Credit: Esther Surden
Alan Potosnak and David Tulloss present their poster. | Esther Surden

Although more life sciences projects than digital ideas were exhibited at the New Jersey Entrepreneurial Network (NJEN) Poster Session and Pitch Contest on February 6, 2013, at Princeton University, one digital tech company — Clifton-based Pervasive Group, a member of TechLaunch’s first class — took the Best Investment award for its MMGuardian cellphone parental control product. Another —Allweb Technologies, of the NJIT Enterprise Development Center (Newark) — won the Best Pitch award for its identity-theft/password protection offering.

Unlike most pitch competitions, at this annual event exhibitors create a poster about their product and business and then explain the product and poster to judges. It is a format well-known to the scientific community. NJEN is a nonprofit organization in central N.J. that encourages entrepreneurship by providing educational and informational services to businesspeople, investors and those in related fields.

The People’s Choice award was given to Chit02-Clot’s George Ulsh and Dung Le. The pair, from NJIT, has developed an improved hemostatic wound dressing that releases oxygen and promotes rapid clotting. The researchers believe their product will provide soldiers on the battlefield a few extra minutes until help can arrive. However, it can also be used by consumers as an ordinary bandage, or by surgeons to help wounds quickly clot.

In the digital category, three other TechLaunch companies exhibited. NickelBus’s Nicholas Catania explained his tool for travelers, which searches bus schedules, routes and station locations throughout the U.S. so you can “find the ride that’s right for you and get where you need to go.”

NuSkool’s Abran Maldonado was full of news about the progress of his fledgling company, which is adding new, exciting lessons for teachers to incorporate into their curricula. NuSkool offers educators and schools lessons that teach core academic subjects, including math, science, English, history and others, through popular culture.

Flying Kick’s Carlos Paulino presented a poster about that company’s tablet-based menu system, ZenMenu, and how it can help the restaurant industry by cutting costs and increasing customer satisfaction.

Other digital startup entrepreneurs included Rider University College of Business Administration grad Tom Morley, whose poster contemplated creating a true meritocracy in crowdsourced advertising.

Alan Potosnak and David Tulloss, of Tigerlabs (Princeton) company FeastIt, displayed a poster called “How Beer and Big Data Transform a Marketplace.” FeastIt provides software as a service (SaaS) to the food and beverage industry. The product replaces text-based reviews with software that captures high-quality, meaningful feedback on products and places from anyone with a smartphone. It transforms that feedback into intelligence in real time, making it immediately useful to consumers and businesses, said its founders.

Daniel Stone’s poster — entitled “Safe Travel via Internet-based Transportation Data” — discussed his company, Safer Directions. Stone says his firm will improve users’ car travel experiences by identifying roads and travel times that are not dangerous, letting them plan routes with safety in mind.

Atiq Hashmi of Inspirity (Newark) created the poster “Build Your Mobile Brand with Our Mobile CMS.” It featured his company’s product, which lets those with no technical knowledge build mobile sites. Inspirity has added advanced capability to its mobile web platform, making it even easier for businesses to establish mobile brands, Hashmi told

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