In two minutes, Summer Rogers said it all.
The founder and CEO of San Diego-based nPruv said she founded the Web-based health IT startup to help match chronically ill patients with clinical trials of new drug candidates. As she put it, “We are a Match.com for clinical trials.” Rogers said 80 percent of clinical trials are delayed because they can’t recruit enough qualified patients, and pharmaceutical companies alone pay $8.6 billion a year to fund patient trials. Drug companies are willing to pay to close their enrollment gap, and nPruv uses a lead generation revenue model to meet that need. Patients sign up for free.
Based on both the content of her two-minute presentation and the style of her delivery, seven judges convened by the San Diego Tech Coast Angels named Rogers as the grand-prize winner of the annual John G. Watson Quick Pitch Competition, held Thursday night at Qualcomm. The award includes $15,000 in cash—and it was the third year in a row that a female entrepreneur won the top prize.
“In two minutes, you hit all of the points that I, as an investor, wanted to hear,” said volunteer judge Mike Elconin, a past president of the San Diego Tech Coast Angels and now CEO of Cognionics, a San Diego medical device company. Elconin was one of seven judges who scored the presentations given by Rogers and nine other startup founders at the TCA’s eighth annual quick pitch competition.
The finalists were culled from more than 130 applicants in a competition for San Diego startups that began earlier this year. Two other finalists won second-place awards, which included $5,000 worth of legal and startup services:
—Companion Medical won the second-place award for best content. The medical device maker has developed an insulin injector pen that uses a Bluetooth link to connect to the patient’s smartphone. Founder and CEO Sean Saint said the injector pen sends data about the amount of insulin injected and time of use to a mobile app, and includes such features as a dose calculator and missed dose alarms.
—TAGit won the second-place award for best delivery style. The mobile shopping app enables users to watch their favorite TV shows and purchase clothing, accessories, and other products they see the characters wearing or using in the show. Founder and CEO Ana Bermudez said 39 million women use a smartphone or tablet to exchange messages with friends and comment on social media about TV shows they are watching.
More than 500 people attended the event. Other finalists in the fast-pitch competition were: