Organizers of the Potomac Piranhas™ Pitch, are using the model of ABC’s well-known “Shark Tank” program to accelerate improving the Potomac River watershed. Any business that can demonstrate a triple bottom line benefit to People, Planet and Profit should apply. The event, scheduled for January 30th and 31st at the US Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, focuses on innovation, capital, and entrepreneurship. The Saturday program culminates in the Pitch, a competition in which entrepreneurs and businesspeople will “pitch” innovations and businesses models to a diverse panel of six well-known business experts in the Washington, DC Metro Area who are ready to finance ideas that show real promise for watershed innovation, with a return on investment.
Members of the “Piranha Panel” include:
Nicholas Jordan, Owner and President
Capitol Bridge Services
Eddie Graves, CEO
Rob Kaufman, President
Barbara Vrancik, Founder and CEO
Vrancik Associates Ltd.
David Goodenow, CEO
Glen Hellman, Chief Revenue Officer
10 Pearls, and Washington’s own “Mr. Cranky”
In addition to the Piranha Tank, the Potomac Piranhas™ Pitch will feature a Friday evening welcome reception, and a full Saturday program of panel discussions and presentations on innovation, capital, and entrepreneurship. Presenters include US Representative John Delaney (MD-6-Invited), Joe Sexton (Senior Scientist, Global Land Cover Facility), Bill Howard (Executive VP, CDM Smith), Dave Feldman (CEO, Livability Project), and Tim Bagley (President, Alexandria Emerging Technology Center) and many more.
“We saw a real opportunity to create a conversation between the environmental and business communities. All of us are interested in a clean watershed,” said Gore Bolton, Founder of the Potomac Piranhas™, born in DC and an entrepreneur himself. “We thought, why not find a way to bring these two usually-competing communities together in a fun way that delivers real results? That’s when we hit on the ‘Piranha Tank’ idea”.
Mr. Bolton’s volunteer role as Vice President and Treasurer with the non profit Alexandria Emerging Technology Center, Inc. and business incubator Connect113 helped him quickly leverage a network of interested companies and personalities to launch the Potomac Piranhas™.
The organization held a very successful “Hackathon” at the end of October 2014, hosted at the Prince George’s County EDC, in which more than forty people gathered for a day-long brainstorming/workshop-type event geared to build partnerships and momentum for the Pitch.
With only a few weeks left until the Pitch, the Potomac Piranhas™ organizers are in full swing recruiting sponsors, entrepreneurs, presenters, and attendees. “We have a great lineup of expert investors to serve as our Piranhas,” said Christy Hartmann, the Potomac Piranhas™ Program Manager, “and a full schedule of interesting content for entrepreneurs, businesspeople, engineers, and environmental professionals. It is going to be a great event.”
The Potomac Piranhas™ are seeking anyone with a business or innovation in need of financing that can demonstrate how they will improve or protect the watershed. Competitors, potential sponsors, and those interested in attending can visit http://www.potomacpiranhas.org for more information and to register.