Hopewell-based Audio Directors takes home top prize at TechLaunch’s latest BullPen

By Emily Bader
New Jersey | Feb 14, 2020 at 10:27 am

TechLaunch announced the winner of BullPen #16, a startup pitch competition hosted Thursday at Fairleigh Dickinson University and supported by the Morris Tech Meetup.

The quarterly event, similar in format to ABC’s TV show “Shark Tank,” is a highly sought-after venue for early stage tech startups, providing them the opportunity to pitch their business models to attendees and a panel of judges.

Hopewell-based Audio Directions, an assisted listening solution for organizations, took home the top award (Investor Award), earning more than $15,000 worth of professional services donated by TechLaunch’s sponsors. Additionally, the award pre-approves the winner to pitch at an upcoming meeting of Jumpstart NJ Angel Network and Tech Council Ventures.

“The whole experience with TechLaunch and the BullPen was very positive. Although a seasoned entrepreneur I found the mentoring very helpful and I am sure it contributed to Audio Directions being the major winner at the event. The attendees included several Investors, and I appreciated being able to get our company’s business opportunity in front of people who could help fuel the journey. I’m also grateful for the free legal and mentoring services as well as the opportunity to pitch to specific investment groups. I encourage anyone going through the challenge of growing an early stage business to apply for this program,” Nigel Gardner, co-founder and CEO, Audio Directions, said.

TechLaunch also announced BuckleBath, a unique car seat cleaning company, took home the ‘Audience Choice’ award.

“TechLaunch BullPen truly provides a stage for selected early stage startup companies with high growth potential to pitch in front of an impressive audience of investors and experienced professionals. BuckleBath is honored to be in the winner’s circle and is energized by the recognition and validation to go Nationwide,” Lauren Siclare, founder and CEO, Bucklebath, said.

Other companies vying for recognition included:

  • Boostpoint, a Pennsylvania-based provider of professional home services;
  • Visionrace, representing the student slot from NJIT, was developed to help political candidates streamline the process of managing door-to-door canvassing.

“What we’re seeing emerge at the BullPen is a real and enticing mix of businesses that cross categories and target audiences, accurately reflecting the vibrancy in the startup community. But without the loyal support of our generous Senior Mentors who work so hard to help get these presenters ready for BullPen, we’d be nowhere. I’m indebted to them, as well as our wise and respected Investor Panel whose expertise is so valued by the aspiring entrepreneurs in the room. Finally, our special thanks go out to Fairleigh Dickinson University, Dr. Dale Caldwell and Susan Slavin, of the Rothman Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship for a very gracious welcome,” Mario Casabona, founder, TechLaunch.

Startups seeking to pitch at the next BullPen, scheduled for April 21 at Stevens Institute of Technology, can apply here.

Emily Bader | ebader@roi-nj.com | @emilybader