Pitch Gauge Wins Seventh Startup Showdown

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Startup Showdown
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We're pleased to announce that Pitch Gauge is the winner of our seventh Startup Showdown pitch competition designed to showcase and fund early-stage tech companies. Pitch Gauge, which uses Google Maps to take safe and accurate measurements of roofs for repairs and replacements, has received a $120,000 investment prize.    

A Conversation with Pitch Gauge

To learn more about Pitch Gauge and its experience in the pitch competition, we interviewed its CEO, Abraham Ventura.

Congratulations on winning our seventh Startup Showdown competition, Abraham. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I'm someone who's always enjoyed tinkering with electronics and computers. I came from a challenging background and got into some trouble as a teenager and young adult, but soon thereafter decided that wasn't the person I wanted to be. So, I got my GED and started a small computer business‚. And then the financial crash came in 2008. At that time, I was struggling but I had a friend in the roofing industry who offered me work as a sales representative. I learned the business from the bottom up, including seeing two workers who had fallen off roofs while trying to do their jobs.

I realized software could help mitigate safety issues while improving the accuracy and efficiency of roofing measurements, so I began developing what would ultimately become Pitch Gauge, which uses Google Maps to zoom in on properties and pinpoint coordinates to take accurate measurements for estimates without anyone having to go up on a ladder and onto a roof. The software also handles customer relationship management (CRM) aspects.    

Fast forward a few years, and the Pitch Gauge app and software have over 1,000,000 downloads, are translated into 10 different languages, and are trusted by over 100,000 construction and roofing professionals every month. It's available on a subscription-model basis.    

How did you find out about the Startup Showdown pitch competition?

I found out about Startup Showdown simply by doing a Google search on pitch competitions. I'd already won a smaller-prize competition sponsored by Hartford Insurance called the Hartford InsurTech Innovation Challenge, and such competitions seemed like a great way to get noticed and make connections while also getting some needed capital. I applied for Startup Showdown immediately after learning about it.

What did you feel were the most beneficial aspects of Startup Showdown?

I was constantly questioning myself and my direction. But everyone involved in Startup Showdown was so pleasant and welcoming, and really made me feel like what I was doing mattered and had a chance to grow into something truly significant. It was a real confidence-builder for me.    

I've always felt that even with my software development skills, I didn't really have any connections and didn't belong in the entrepreneurial arena, especially as an underrepresented founder.

What does Pitch Gauge plan to do with the investment prize?

Up until now I've been mostly a one-person operation, handling all aspects of development, marketing strategy, and sales. I want to take more of a CEO-level role in building partnerships and establishing the Pitch Gauge brand. The investment capital will help me to add in-house developers to take the innovation to the next level so I can start to focus on other aspects of the business.

Do you have any advice for other entrepreneurs who are considering applying to pitch at a future Startup Showdown?

Go for it — I'd recommend the competition to any other tech-focused entrepreneur. The team at Startup Showdown was so helpful, insightful, and easy to work with that there is no reason not to give it a try. Whether you win or not, the experience will be highly beneficial in moving your company and career forward.    

Startup Showdown is held monthly, with five finalists competing to win $120,000 investment prize. Apply to pitch at an upcoming Startup Showdown.

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