Launch Greensboro Competition Draws Entrepreneurs from Across State

Tyra Hilliard
Staff Writer

The Launch Greensboro Pitch Competition has completed another year as entrepreneurs competed in pitching their startup and concept ideas.

The competitors and the ideas presented were strong and quick to the point. In less than two minutes, many entrepreneurs pitched their perfected ideas to ready investors.

Competitors travelled from all across the state to spend the evening in Greensboro in hopes of gaining their businesses some financial backing. 

“I’ve been preparing for this for weeks. I’ve been running my presentation, it’s only two minutes, but because it’s only two minutes you got to really nail it. There’s not a whole lot of room for missteps and making things up,” said Amy Pruitt, who is an entrepreneur and was a competitor.

Launch Greensboro returned with their annual pitch competition, called “Capital Connects.” The event easily brings investors and startups together every March.

“When you are a startup company the first capital raise is just the beginning. There’s multiple iterations of this, so it’s really important to get comfortable doing that,” said Clifford Thompson, Chair of the Launch Greensboro advisory board.

The goal of the competition is to get the entrepreneurs so comfortable with their pitches that a time constraint will not have any effect on them at all. 

The competition consisted of a two-minute round for early-stage businesses and a six-minute round for investor-ready businesses.

“It’s nerve-racking. I practiced a lot. I practiced in my sleep. I literally practiced in the car driving down here; I was using my phone to go through the presentation,” said Ron Arnold, CEO of Threat Sketch. 

Threat Sketch was created almost ten years ago by Arnold, but the business only started to take off about five years ago. 

“It’s 10 times harder and three times more money than you expected, but you know it’s a joy to do this, and it takes a special breed to be an entrepreneur,” said Arnold.

Arnold also runs a cyber risk management company that is in Winston-Salem. He agrees that events like the one by Launch Greensboro help create a space where an “entrepreneurial ecosystem can thrive.” 

Arnold credits the competition with giving him a way to reach investors and says what he sees happening in the Piedmont Triad is motivating. 

“It’s great to see an entrepreneurial community in the Piedmont Triad. That’s something that’s very new, and it’s so much richer than I could have ever imagined,” said Arnold.

Arnold was the winner of the six-minute pitch competition and left with a $7,500 prize.

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