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Thursday, Jun 8, 2023

Quick Pitches to Angels Might Lead to Heavenly Results for Firms

Atlantis Technologies Inc., a developer of desalination technology, won best pitch honors during the Tech Coast Angels San Diego Network’s Quick Pitch contest Oct. 6.

CEO P.M. Curran and his coaches were able to condense a 25-minute presentation into a two-minute pitch that impressed a panel of judges.

The evening’s winners don’t get funded, but may get closer to funding. The San Diego Tech Coast Angels will consider giving winners a chance to make their pitches to angel investors during a future screening session.

The program is meant to attract promising startups. In the evening’s main event, a dozen company representatives give two-minute elevator speeches on why their company deserves funding. A panel of judges determines winners based on content and presentation quality.

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Gamer Grub, a snack optimized for multitaskers made by Biosilo Foods Inc., snatched up the award for best content. Tesla Controls, a firm that leverages wireless technology to turn out the lights in big buildings, won the award for best style.

The fifth annual event brought 500 people to Irwin M. Jacobs Hall at Qualcomm Inc. to hear a fast-paced program of pitches, and then have dessert.

Atlantis, based in Dana Point, is developing a low-energy chemical-free water desalination system that uses capacitors to do the job. The technology is an outgrowth of technology originally developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or Darpa.

Curran, the company’s CEO, said he has seven patents issued or pending, and the portfolio will easily expand. He is targeting the oil and gas market. Every barrel of oil produced yields five barrels of salty wastewater. In California, the number is eight barrels.

Curran said he has spent $300,000 on the business and is looking for $630,000 in funding.

The evening’s judges included Ricardo dos Santos, Mike Elconin, Mike Napoli, Molly Schmid, Gary Sutton, Hayden Trubitt and John Wehrli.

Derek Smith, CEO of Tesla Controls, used several props in his speech. One coach suggested adding a rubber chicken to liven up the presentation — a fact noted by the San Diego Business Journal in an article previewing the event.

Another coach wanted to nix the chicken. In the end, Smith and the master of ceremonies introduced the chicken to the audience … but after the pitch.

Which brings to mind a burning question about supply chains. Just where does a CEO buy a rubber chicken these days? Smith said he got his through Amazon.com.


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