MANSFIELD — Four entrepreneurs met Wednesday night with members of the Sundown Rundown organization at the Old Bag of Nails to pitch their ideas and make new business contacts.
The Sundown Rundown allows entrepreneurs to speak for five minutes then have five minutes of questions and answers after their pitch.
Joel Crites, founder and chief executive officer of Micro Fantasy Sports led off talking about his new app he hopes will play a large role in sporting arenas, for fans at home and fans at bars.
“How many of you find yourselves at a baseball game or a football game not having as much fun as you’d like? Myself being a Cleveland fan, it happens more often than I might like,” Crites said chuckling.
He told the crowd he had an idea to make sports more fun for those with little to no specific knowledge of the sport.
He was at a Cleveland Indians game with his son when the boy wanted to go home early. Crites insisted on staying.
“As I looked at the other kids in the stadium, I saw most of them were on their phones watching Netflix or playing games,” he said. “I realized sports spectating was lacking something. That’s why I created Micro Fantasy.”
The idea behind the new product is a family-friendly app for anyone to download. The make up of the app is a 10-button interface for app-users to click and guess what will happen next.
For instance, if Jason Kipnis of the Indians were at the plate, fans could choose 10 outcomes such as grounding out, flying out, getting walked, hitting a home-run or striking out. Whoever guesses the outcome correctly will earn points. Crites said as an example, whoever wins the most points could win a $10 gift card at the end of the game.
“Part of the problem with sport spectating is that it hasn't kept up with the immediate gratification in the digital age that especially kids need to keep paying attention.”
Crites' goal is to sell his app at baseball, football and basketball stadiums allowing participants to use their phone’s distraction for the sport’s attraction, he said.
“What this does is, it creates a spectating expierience that is not based on whether your team wins,” he said referring to the poor records of the Indians and Browns.
Crites told the audience the Louisville Bats, the AAA Minor League Baseball affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds have agreed to use his system this season. He told the Sundown Rundown audience he is hoping to have the entire MiLB using his system by 2018.
John West introduced his idea, Fitos, a smart window solution.
The smart window technology, West said, adds innovation and functionality at a low cost. He said his windows would allow the owners to light logos on the window, turn opaque, on and off on command.
West told the audience his smart windows would work commercially as an alternative to a neon sign, or as an alternative for a private home. He prefers to work into the Medical field because he believes his windows are a cleaner, more hygienic alternative to screens and curtains. He also said banks could be a viable market to enter.
Steve Cummings presented his idea to open a North Central Ohio Industrial Museum based on the amount of industrial history Mansfield holds.
“In a very, very small nutshell this is our goal — our focus is historical. For the most part we are going to be a backward looking organization, but we do think there is a unique opportunities to shine a spotlight on the existing industrial businesses and manufacturing and entrepreneurs who are doing more than existing, but are continuing to thrive,” Cumming said. “I think sometimes there is this ‘Oh woah-is-Mansfield, how great we used to be.’
"There’s a lot of great things going on in Mansfield and we think we can shine a spot light on the present and the future.”
Cummings asked the audience for help collecting historical photos from family members, and old industrial artifacts. He also said he was seeking volunteers.
The museum recently partnered with the Mansfield Reformatory Preservation Society and he hopes the museum could have an education component in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The final entrepreneur of the night was Manoj Sinha, of Healthiva Telemedicine.
Sinha told the crowd he wanted to help those specifically in rural areas gain access to medicinal help at their fingertips. He said his company has a patient portal for the customer to manage, allowing them to access doctors and their medical history.
He plans to sell his web-based Healthiva to hospitals. During his question and Answer segment, he confirmed India would be the “low-hanging fruit” because of the amount of people and low amount of healthcare practitioners.