A medical records software company and a pet health company won the inaugural York County pitch contest held Thursday night in Biddeford.
Physician Susan Thomas won first place and $750 for her business SpinDoc, a four-month-old medical records software company. Thomas, who founded Central Maine Family Practice in Lewiston, said SpinDoc aims to offer cloud-based software to make life easier for physician practices that use electronic health records.
This is Thomas’ first tech startup experience. She said the hardest part has been the early fundraising and finding a way to explain the company in such a way that potential investors see the possibilities and feel the passion, and ultimately agree to invest. A pitch contest like Pitch York County offered her helpful practice.
“It was a particular challenge to have to do all that in just three minutes, so it forced me to focus and strip the pitch down to its essence,” Thomas said. “Having an upbeat and receptive audience made it fun, and winning the prize gave me a welcome boost of confidence. The funds will go right into the business, right now we are at a stage where every penny counts.”
Michael Royals won second place and $350 for Thrivant Health, a pet health company that has developed a humane and non-invasive method of animal birth control. It recently received a $25,000 seed grant from the Maine Technology Institute.
Both SpinDoc and Thrivant Health also win a chance to compete for a larger amount in the final round, to be held sometime early next year.
Pitch York County was developed to provide a forum for entrepreneurs in and with connections to York County to practice their business pitches. Biddeford Savings Bank is the major sponsor.
Four companies pitched Thursday night at Think Tank Biddeford. There are currently two more pitch nights scheduled—Dec. 15 and Jan. 12. However, interest from startup founders has exceeded expectations and so more dates may be added to accommodate them all, according to Adam Nyhan of OptiCliff Law, one of the sponsors and judges at last night’s event. To date, 19 startups have applied to pitch, Nyhan said.
Nyhan was joined as a judge Thursday night by Grant Lewis, a SCORE mentor; Gigi Guyton of New Ventures; and Charles Petersen, president and CEO of Biddeford Savings Bank.