Northvale, NJ - Up To $1 Million On The Table In “Shark Tank” Segment At Jewish Business Summit
Northvale, NJ - Three businessmen from the Jewish community will be pitching their ideas to a panel of investors at a forum designed after the award winning Shark Tank reality series at a Jewish business conference taking place this week in New Jersey.
The Launch Pad has become a highlight of the annual LTB Summit, as entrepreneurs hope to impress investors and potentially walk away with an investment of up to $1 million in exchange for a share in their business. The segment is designed to help entrepreneurs who need assistance taking their business to the next level.
“People don’t always look towards investors for money,” Meny Hoffman, CEO of Ptex which runs LTB each year, told VIN News. “Most of the time people are looking for money plus expertise, someone with a business mindset who can open doors for you.”
The Launch Pad will be hosted by international business speaker and columnist Professor Sean Wise of Toronto’s Ryerson University and will feature four investors: A.J. Ginsberg of Mega Funding LLC, Akiva Kurland of Yellow Jacket Ventures, George Weinberger of Anthiem Ventures and Neil Rock of Catalyst Funding.
The 90 minute segment, which will begin this year with a presentation by Wise on how to construct a good elevator pitch, has proven to be a boon both to those pitching ideas and those in the audience, according to Hoffman.
“It is a learning experience when you see someone up there who knows what he is doing, knows his numbers and knows the back and forth,” said Hoffman. “The investors can be very shrewd, hoping to get as large a stake of a business as possible, so if a person really believes in his business he won’t give away more then he has to. It is a very educational format for the audience.”
This year’s LTB will take place on Wednesday at The Rockleigh in Northvale, New Jersey.
Moshe Teitelbaum of Williamsburg pitched his company MongoTel, which provides VoIP telecommunications services, at The Launch Pad during last year’s LTB. While ultimately the deal that was made during The Launch pad fizzled, Teitelbaum said his participation in the segment provided a big boost to his company.
“It gave me exposure, confidence in my product and the ability to clarify my vision,” said Teitelbaum. “Presenting at The Launch Pad was a stepping stone for me. It gave me experience in dealing with venture capitalists and investment groups and I secured funding from another venture capitalist in February.”
Teitelbaum said that over the last year his business expanded to include a second office in Israel. He currently has a team of almost 20 employees and is looking to hire additional programmers to handle his growing business.
30 year old Eli Rosenbloom of Baltimore, owner of FR Conversions which modifies vehicles to make them accessible to the handicapped, was the first presenter at the debut of The Launch Pad in 2013. Having auditioned for Shark Tank, Rosenbloom knew what to expect when he made his sales pitch, asking for a $300,000 investment in his company in exchange for a 10 percent share in his business.
“We shook hands on an offer on the table of $250,000 for 25 percent share of the business,” said Rosenbloom. “Right off the stage a bunch of people approached me and expressed an interest in my company. They introduced me to A.J. Ginsberg who was in the audience and had connections in the transportation business.”
When Rosenbloom’s proffered Launch Pad deal fell through, he contacted Ginsberg and the two made a deal on their own.
“My company had always been profitable but what I really wanted was someone who would open the right doors for me,” said Rosenbloom. “He gave us confidence to do things we might not have been able to do otherwise.”
Rosenbloom said that he anticipated $6 million in revenues in 2013 when he attended the first LTB but over the past two years his business has grown exponentially.
“We have $100 million in gross revenues now,” said Rosenbloom. “We have almost 100 employees and manufacture almost 3,000 vehicles annually. We currently supply about 60 percent of the mobility accessible cabs in New York City. Go into Brooklyn, Queens or the Bronx and more than half the mobility accessible cabs will say ‘FR Conversion’ on the back.”
Partnering with someone who can provide both sound business advice and working capital can be a game changer for a business, according to Rosenbloom.
“There are a lot of big decisions to be made in a business and you don’t always know the answers,” said Rosenbloom. “Having someone you can trust who has the background is great. That is what we were looking for when we came to The Launch Pad and thank G-d, that is exactly what we found.”
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