How ideal would it be to see a product shown on your television screen and be able to purchase it right at that moment?
While it may seem rather futuristic, it really is not, according to Eyebuy co-founder Paul Mijac, who pitched the idea Wednesday night to several hundred attendees of the third Grand Strand Technology Council (GSTC) Pitch Night.
Mijac was one of five entrepreneurs sharing new business initiatives during a two-hour presentation of startups at Grand 14 Cinemas in Myrtle Beach. Other presenters included director of business development for Cardiac Insight Emma Doyle; founder of PermitZone Rebecca Antonino; founder of SubjectMatter Michael Rives; and founder of Kids Can Give Too, Inc. Barb Royal.
All brought their startup ideas to share during a two-hour Startup.SC presentation promoted by the GSTC in partnership with the Conway and Georgetown Innovation Centers, Coastal Carolina University’s Community and Business Engagement Institute and the Grand Strand Angels.
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“At Eyebuy, it is as simple as I see it, I want it, I buy it,” Mijac told his audience of entrepreneurs and potential investors.
In a “shark tank-like” fashion, Mijac explained how time can get in the way of sales when an individual spies a product on TV but has to wait to place an order.
“What would you do if you could buy the product right off TV?” he queried. Through development of Eyebuy, a cloud-based solution, Mijac said individuals can “interact instantly with any object seen on TV.”
“We enable brands to capture “Cinderella moments,” he said, revealing that with 238 million Americans watching TV every day, there are 13 million opportunities per hour, per channel to “pursue instant engagement.”
He and founder Todd Coulter, with Eyebuy, are ready to “change the world” and “provide a better way to deliver information” as opposed to use of junk mail crowding the mailbox.
GSTC president Jason Greene explained that the council, founded in 2007 by Dr. John Sanders, is the “initiative that helps [startups] get started right here on the Grand Strand.”
The mission of the group is to “promote, support and enhance” the growing technology community locally, support local businesses and government organizations with technology needs and enhance science, technology, engineering and math education locally.
Pitch Night brings entrepreneurs together in the same room with potential investors like the Grand Strand Angels, a group of some 200 investors that has already invested more than $20 million in 52 companies, according to Charlie Banks, managing director.
The startup founded by Antonino gained some momentum when it was awarded a $100,000 credit with Amazon’s website, Greene said.
PermitZone provides a fast and easy way for permits to be pulled online. Antonino said PermitZone eliminates the need for a contractor to drive downtown, stand in line and then carry paperwork back to the construction site.
“When contractors get more efficient, they do more work,” she said. PermitZone has already been launched in 12 municipalities and is being used by some major building construction product providers. PermitZone identifies when a permit is needed and allows it to be pulled online from anywhere.
A 20-year schoolteacher, Royal has worked on her project for about six years and said Kids Can Give Too.com “inspires kids to give.”
Her concept allows children to celebrate their birthdays while raising funds for charity.
She estimates 200,000 birthdays are celebrated in this country every day with children amassing so much “stuff” they never touch.
“It’s an epidemic,” she said. What she has created is a “charity infused birthday party” concept. Partnering with local charities and party venues, a parent can set up an online party invitation announcing the charity party. Royal said the company keeps only 10 percent of the funds for management.
Already in use in 32 states, Kids Can Give Too.com is “teaching hundreds of thousands of children about giving.”
An MBA student at Coastal Carolina University, Michael Rives presented an educational game platform under development to offer online games that children and families can play together.
Called SubjectMATTER, the platform would include a number of games, each providing lessons in different areas. An example Rives gave was a game that teaches personal finance.
“We utilize a different approach to learning,” he said. Using a game board approach, each game would include lessons throughout that can be executed in real life. The application would be coupled with interactive ad space to provide “a solid investment.”
Doyle presented Cardiac Insight, a project that would allow “push button compliance” for heart failure monitoring.
Saying heart failure is the No. 1 diagnosis among chronic diseases in the U.S., Doyle presented statistics that shows coverage of the disease results in 34 percent of Medicare’s total spending. She said there are 100,000 implantable defibrillator surgeries each month across the nation.
“Chronic diseases are overwhelming the system,” she said. She noted there are almost 30,000 cardiologists in the United States. Utilizing Cardiac Insight would “enable providers to do more with less time and energy,” she said.
While five data sites are currently being used with “good reviews,” a formal launch of Cardiac Insight is planned for January 2017. Doyle said investment opportunities in the product are available.
The GSTC also kicked off a capital campaign Wednesday night, according to Greene. The nonprofit focuses on connecting local tech industry leaders and financiers with entrepreneurial opportunities. It is also geared toward advancing technology education in Horry and Georgetown county schools.
Freelance reporter Angela Nicholas can be reached at (843) 655-9788