Piranha Pool (R) 2018 is Minnesota’s own live take on the TV series “Shark Tank.” A panel of experienced, local tech investors will grill local entrepreneurs on the spot. Confirmed returning Piranhas are well-known local investors Ed Cannon, Cathy Connett and David Russick. Apply to participate by reaching out to Jeffrey C. Robbins, event emcee and AngelPolleNation Managing Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The winner of the Piranha Pool pitch competition will receive:
-- an invitation to present to investors at the May 17 Gopher Angels investor meeting
-- followup fundraising and business advice from Cathy Connett of CorConnections
-- a Jamstik and tour of Zivix's offices conducted by Ed Cannon
About Our Piranhas:
Ed Cannon is CEO of Zivix, creators of the award winning Jamstik line of products. Designed around multi-patented fingertip-sensing technology the new Jamstik 7 and Jamstik 12 instruments are designed to better meet the requests of both the learner and the accomplished musician. Ed spent the first years of his career with the Westinghouse Power Systems group and co-founded Cannon Technologies in 1987. As CEO, he led the team from a humble start in the basement to sales in excess of $100 million with 150 employees. Cannon Technologies was one of the first truly smart-grid companies, helping electric utilities better manage demand response, substation automation and smart meters. Cannon Technologies was acquired by Cooper Industries, now Eaton Corp (NYSE: ETN) and is an integral part of their Energy Automation Solutions group today. Ed holds a BSEE from South Dakota State University and was awarded the honor of Distinguished Engineer in 2007. Ed serves on various boards and advisory capacities including Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management, the Discovery Capital committee at UMN, Enterprise Institute, and Donor Advisory committee of the Minneapolis Foundation and other boards primarily in MN and SD. He and his wife Judy live in Plymouth and are the proud parents of 4 tax paying Minnesotans.
Cathy Connett is CEO and managing partner of the Sofia Fund, which invests in high-growth women-led businesses. She is also president and founder of CorConnections, which specializes in guiding businesses through new business initiatives, equity infusions, ownership transitions, and the building of alliances and partnerships. Cathy has served as the director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of St. Thomas and, for the last 19 years, helped initiate multiple programs to support the entrepreneurial community, including the Minnesota Seed Capital Network, Women to Women (W2W) investment group and the Sofia Angel Fund. She has also served twice as a judge for the regional Ernst &Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards. Cathy’s formal education includes an engineering degree from Vanderbilt University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She has a diverse operational background in all functional areas, in union and non-union environments and in a wide range of B2B industries and marketplaces. Her experience includes roles at large companies such as Procter & Gamble, Boise Cascade and 3M as well as within start-up and small private companies.
David Russick is co-founder, Managing Director, and a board member of Gopher Angels, an investment organization dedicated to supporting entrepreneurship and early stage businesses in the state of Minnesota. David co-founded Bagster, LLC., a nationwide waste services company, where he served as President and a board member prior to Bagster’s acquisition by a Fortune 500 company. In addition, Russick serves on the Board of Advisors for the Dakota Venture Group. He also serves on the Business Advisory Group for the University of Minnesota’s Office for Technology Commercialization. David is a graduate of the University of South Dakota. He earned a Master of International Management degree from the Thunderbird School of Global Management with studies at Oxford University, Oxford England.
About Our Emcee:
Jeffrey C. Robbins is a shareholder with the Minneapolis law firm of Messerli | Kramer. For 35 years, Jeff has represented entrepreneurs who start and grow technology-based enterprises and angel and venture investors who target those companies. Having started two companies in the entertainment ticketing industry, Jeff understands the challenges and demands faced by business owners and uses his experience when providing counsel to his clients. Jeff is an advisory board member to Gopher Angels, a local investor network and he is a judge in the high tech division of the annual Minnesota Cup business plan competition.
AngelPolleNation is a Twin Cities networking organization that furthers awareness, communication and education among solo investors, informal investment clubs and formal angel investment groups. APN has hosted over 25 quarterly events and profiled over 70 early-stage companies since inception in 2011.
Jeff is an attorney and shareholder in the business services practice group at Messerli | Kramer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. For 35 years, he has represented entrepreneurs who start and grow technology-based enterprises and angel and venture investors who target those companies. He is a serial entrepreneur himself, having founded two companies in the entertainment ticketing industry. Jeff represents high-growth, high-potential private enterprises and publicly traded companies. In 2011, he founded AngelPolleNation, a networking organization for investors that holds quarterly events in the Twin Cities. He has served as an advisory service member to the Minnesota Angel Network and serves as an advisory board member to Gopher Angels, a Minneapolis-based investor network. Jeff is also a judge for the annual statewide Minnesota Cup business plan competition. He is a board member of Venture Academy, a new Minneapolis charter school focused on developing entrepreneurial leadership skills for its students, and of the Minnesota Jewish Theater Company. Jeff was named in 2011 as one of “200 Minnesotans You Should Know” by Twin Cities Business magazine.