Winners of Fourth Annual Quick Pitch Competition Announced by San Diego Tech Coast Angels

Ritter Pharmaceuticals, Strategic Enzyme Applications, Inc. and Snapizzi are clear winners with judges and audience through real-time polling results.

Oct 12, 2010, 08:06 ET from Tech Coast Angels

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Tech Coast Angels (TCA), the largest angel investor network in the United States and regarded as the number one source of startup funding in Southern California, announced competition winners at their Quick Pitch Competition on October 7 at the Qualcomm Irwin M. Jacobs Auditorium, where 14 finalists presented two-minute pitches to a blue ribbon panel of judges and an audience of over 400 leaders within the entrepreneurial community.

"The annual Tech Coast Angel Quick Pitch is the most exciting entrepreneurial event of the year in San Diego," says Stephen Flaim, President of San Diego Tech Coast Angels. "It is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to network, learn and compete for the investment capital that is so crucial to early stage companies."

The entrepreneurs were judged on investment potential and presentation quality by the judges and the audience voted on their favorite through real-time polling. Competition winners were announced at the conclusion of the evening.

The 2010 Quick Pitch competition winners are:

Ritter Pharmaceuticals won best overall and the audience text-in favorite.  

Ritter Pharmaceuticals is committed to the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative therapeutic treatments for gastrointestinal diseases. RP-G28 has the potential to become the first FDA-approved drug for the treatment of lactose intolerance, a large and underpenetrated global market with over 80 Million Americans and 4.3 Billion globally suffering. RP-G28 effectively stands out as the only therapeutic regimen impacting the natural history of the disease and alleviating the symptoms of lactose intolerance on a long-term basis. RP-G28 has received Investigational New Drug (IND) clearance by the FDA to begin Phase 2 studies. Ritter has assembled an outstanding management, clinical and development team guided by a medical board composed of worldwide leading lactose intolerance and gastrointestinal experts. With successful Phase 2 clinical data, Ritter expects to license its compound to a pharmaceutical company for $300M+ by mid-2012. The company is seeking $5 Million ($3 Million committed already).

Strategic Enzyme Applications, Inc. was awarded for best content.  

Strategic Enzyme Applications (SEA) is a clean technology company developing renewable and low cost applications for fuel and chemical manufacture. SEA specializes in the design and development of pioneering chemical processes focusing on the potential of converting lignin, the "waste" resulting from biomass processing in a biorefinery, into high value fuels and chemicals that are currently only derived from petroleum processing. Our novel technologies will produce discrete key intermediates from lignin in high yield that will allow production of a variety of organic molecules and lead directly to fuel and chemical production at a cost advantage over petroleum processing and other renewable methods. The resulting fuels will be in the "valeric biofuels" category and longer chain hydrocarbons (such as octanes and nonanes) – fuels that can be distributed and used by current transportation systems. Chemical products will be large volume specialty and commodity chemicals early in the organic chemical value chain.  

Snapizzi was awarded for best pitch.

Billions of photos exist online and there is no solution to match people to their photos and easily and privately find them. In the $8.2B US professional photography industry, an average business spends $5-25k per year to match photos with subjects. Furthermore, the $2.2B school industry cannot go online due to privacy concerns.

Snapizzi's patent-pending technology for automated tagging and matching of digital imagery changes this. Snapizzi delivers a fully automated end-to-end workflow to professional photographers as a SaaS solution. Snapizzi also enables photography e-commerce sites to offer matching technology. Consumers can get notified and access their photos posted on any Snapizzi enabled site from a social media application. Photography businesses using the Snapizzi platform reported a 20-40% increase in profitability. Since launch in February 2010, Snapizzi has seen a 40% growth in photographer sales month-to-month. Identical market opportunities exist globally and Snapizzi's first franchise in Sweden is generating revenue.

The Quick Pitch finalists were selected by members of Tech Coast Angels through a rigorous screening process from a number of high-caliber entries representing a broad range of companies within many industries including action and sport, security, clean tech, diagnostics and research tools, medical products, software, hardware and general technology, communications and IT.  New to the event this year, was a real-time audience vote for the "audience favorite." More than 200 attendees participated after the conclusion of the pitches by texting in their vote. As the text-in votes came in, the progress was shown on screen, increasing the excitement among those in attendance.

After the event an attendee was quoted saying "The Tech Coast Angels' Quick Pitch Competition raises the quality of regional startups and contributes to keeping San Diego's innovation emphasis strong and vibrant."

Since 1997, TCA has invested more than $100 million in over 160 companies and raised more than $1 billion of additional capital, mostly from venture capital firms. The group is supported by many of the region's leading VC funds and sponsors including many of the best service providers to early stage companies.

For more information about Tech Coast Angels' Quick Pitch Competition please visit:  

About Tech Coast Angels

Tech Coast Angels, , is the largest angel investor group in the United States. Its members provide funding and guidance to more early-stage, high-growth companies in Southern California than any other investment group. TCA members invest in companies in a wide range of industries, including the life sciences, biotech, IT, services, retail, Internet, financial, software, media, consumer products and tech startups. TCA members give companies more than just capital; they also provide counsel, mentoring and access to an extensive network of potential investors, customers, strategic partners and management talent. TCA has more than 250 members, including its venture capital affiliates, in five networks in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Westlake/Santa Barbara and the Inland Empire. More information on investment with Tech Coast Angels can be found at , or .  

SOURCE Tech Coast Angels