Trusted Relationship Startup Lambent Data wins Princeton-Mercer Chamber’s Pitch Stop VI

On February 22, three teams, two from New Jersey, pitched their companies to the judges at Pitch Stop VI, hosted by the Princeton Mercer Regional Chamber at the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton.  

Lambent Data, a Princeton-based technology company that uses software to empower trusted relationships, won $10,000 worth of professional services from the event’s sponsors. Lambent provides an engagement platform called “OurREACH” that helps healthcare providers, payers and others (such as prison reentry programs) address the social determinants of health for vulnerable patients. OurREACH is a customizable, collaborative software platform and app with data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI), said cofounder and CEO Kirsten Hund Blair.

Blair explained that her company provides a kind of engagement that is not currently available from other technology platforms. “It’s highly engaging for the patients and families and easy to use, but it still connects to their care provider because what we found is, especially with people who are struggling with all sorts of things, having that human connection is extremely important.” The platform isn’t sending patients things like reminders, but it is “undergirding the trusted relationship, and it’s helping the practitioner as well, by saving them time.”

Blair said that her customers are organizations that provide the program to their practitioners. The patients and clients are receiving the benefits of the program for free. “And it’s very important that both sides have this very trusted relationship, which is important to the outcomes. “And so this helps to improve outcomes and save staff time, even while it still integrates with the electronic health-record systems and case-management tools.”

Blair said that the company was seeking to raise an additional $500,000, and had already raised an initial $500,000, “building on the back of New Jersey Economic Development Authority programs” to help startups grow. The judges at Pitch Stop VI asked specifically about customer growth, and Blair noted that the company already had five customers and was continuing to “plant flagships” in the various sectors it addresses. For example, a recently secured engagement to use OurREACH for a reentry program at Rikers is a flagship that will allow the company to scale to other reentry programs.

About 100 people attended the event, which was judged by James Howard, executive director of the Black Inventors Hall of Fame (Wharton); Cora Park, the founder, president and CEO of Diamond Business Communications (Hamilton); and David Stengle, the founder and CEO of Board++  (Princeton), as well as the director of Startup Grind Princeton.

An audience favorite was ByeByeCry (Warrington, Pa.), pitched by Samantha Myers, founder and CEO; Eddie Myers, cofounder; and Anita Haley, creative director.  The company offers a portable sound machine designed to soothe colicky and fussy babies using unconventional sounds like chainsaws.

ByeByeCry’s founders pitching. | Esther Surden

Many of the parents in the room seemed to relate to the presentation, which accurately described the desperation of parents with colicky babies. “What sets us apart is we work with sound engineers to design unconventional sounds that most people would never think would work to soothe a fussy baby,” Myers told the group. “We have five sounds for colic and five sounds for any time.” Recently, the company introduced a subscription-based app to bring the sounds to smartphones. The startup has seen success, and now plans to expand internationally and through the subscription-based app.

The judges liked the product, but worried about the ease of entry for competitors in this market.

Another company that created a lot of audience buzz was Embrace Tutoring and Educational Services (Chatham). Embrace Tutoring helps families find tutors and provides academic planning, progress reports and college advising.

Embrace Tutoring founders answering questions from the audience. | Esther Surden

Pitching for this company were cofounders Suzzane Park and Anthony Weinkopff. “We’ve developed a one-of-a-kind process consisting of family consultations, academic planning, tutor matching, progress reports, student features and shared success,” said Weinkopff. “Initially, parents will speak with an Embrace academic advisor regarding the child’s goals, and develop the academic plan. These plans are based on data that we’ve collected from hundreds and hundreds of success stories, time lines, grade reports and previous admission cycles. We discuss what is best for the family, and that Embrace advisor then routinely checks on the student’s progress throughout our program.”

Asked by the judges what the company’s biggest challenge is, Park said, “You have to constantly be on the lookout for excellent teachers, talented teachers, who are going to make that great connection with the students. I’m sure most people can remember their favorite teacher from their childhood. And that just makes the magic happen when it’s the right teacher with the child or the subject.”

The event was sponsored by Integris, William Penn Bank, and TD Bank. Promotional partners included: Einstein’s Alley and Startup Grind – Princeton 

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