Full House for May’s Forum

NEF had almost a full house with 97 people in attendance. In case you missed it, there were two showcase presenters and three Pitch Pit presenters. All of them did a great job in presenting their ideas.

Michael Anataran, Founder & CEO of Carrot involved the audience with his mobile health and wellness program that gamifies walking your way to better health and lower company health care costs. The program encourages the most sedimentary employees to challenge themselves and each other to achieve points that can be used to buy products at participating merchants. You can even participate in Carrot Oscars or Carrot Survivor challenges. Mike’s product puts the fun back in fitness.

Christina York, Founder & CEO of Spellbound engaged the audience with her product that uses augmented reality technology to calm children before medical procedures. She showed how special cards become a 3D animation that distracts children to focus on the animation rather than the scary and often painful medical procedures necessary to treat their conditions. Her product was also used to help a child accomplish mobility tasks faster to improve his recovery. Christina is on track to have her product available in hospitals across the country.

As usual, the Pitch Pit presenters did not disappoint.

Bryan Richardson of Bryan’s Backyard, told us how he intends to help Detroit’s youth constructively use their free time in sports activities through his vision of a sports center tailored to their needs. He captured our attention when he said, “Have you done anything you later regretted because you were bored?” The audience and the judges connected with his dream in awarding him as the Pitch Pit winner and a $306 prize.

Cody Middleton presented Jacket 360 which is an innovative way of using vibrating smart phone technology to alert cyclists that cars are approaching from their rear. This reduces bicycle and car collisions when the cyclist cannot hear or see eminent danger. Their prototype is currently a wearable that they intend to transfer to a smart phone to reduce manufacturing costs. His tag line is, ”Get back on your ride and let Jacket 360 watch your back.”

Mike Westcott explained what Wellwith was all about. He is on a mission to reduce the carbon footprint of wasted disposable coffee cups. Mike’s product rewards people, who frequent coffee shops, with a reward of donating to Water.org. They get the reward every time they bring and use their own cup rather than the disposables the coffee shops use. It empowers people to save the earth from needless waste.

After the presentations, Barbara Boldt of Dynamic Global Communications gave us some tips on better presentation skills. Body language is the non-verbal key component of delivering your message. Using hand motions appropriately, holding eye contact, standing up straight are all good habits. Remember to not talk too fast, slow, soft, or loud and enunciate so people can more clearly hear your words. Use ‘um’ as little as possible, it is distracting. Also, thank people for their questions to acknowledge them in engaging with your presentation. These seem like common sense presentation tips, but are lost when presenters are nervous. That is why it is so important to practice to avoid them.

Before we knew it, the evening was over leaving us looking forward to the next NEF Forum on June 22nd which is a week later than usual. See you there!