At Lighter Capital, we think it’s important to give back to the local entrepreneur community in Seattle. We are proud to be part of this vibrant technology hub and think there’s huge potential in the Pacific Northwest. Recently, we became a member of WTIA (Washington Technology Industry Association) and were invited to participate in their 2015 Spring First Look Forum, a coaching program and presentation showcase for early-stage startups.

In First Look Forum, companies are paired with mentors and presentation coaches in preparation for the big showcase. The winner of the event wins $10,000 grand prize.  To see the full line-up of companies, and the selected winner, go here.

Branden Harper, our Director of Business Development had the pleasure of coaching a local company, Palalinq. Palalinq is a mobile app and wearable technology company that provides on-the-go support for those in recovery from alcoholism and drug addiction.

“I was paired with Daniela Luzi Tudor, the founder of Palalinq,” says Branden. “We met to talk through her pricing and market strategy, and ways to tackle today’s challenges facing vendor management and the manufacturing process. She’s very driven and passionate about the problem she is solving. She definitely has the can-do attitude of an entrepreneur.”

Molly Otter, our Chief Investment Officer was invited to be on the judge panel to score the different pitches.

“I had a great time hearing all the pitches,” says Molly. “It was exciting to see so many talented entrepreneurs in our hometown Seattle. Also, I was delighted to see many startups in the SaaS space. We think it’s a great business model and look forward to seeing these companies grow. Down the road, many of them can become potential borrowers of Lighter Capital.

Any advice for the entrepreneurs?

Pitching may not be the most enjoyable thing when it comes to running your business, but it is very important and your success depends on it. The First Look Forum provides a platform for entrepreneurs to practice their pitch for the first time. But realistically, you need many, many different platforms and audiences to perfect your pitch. The more you practice, the better you will be in your delivery and content. Finally, take every piece of feedback to heart because that’s what can help you refine your long term business objectives.