Founding Pinnacle Transplant Technologies, we had a much broader vision than we did as partners in a previous venture. A leap of faith had to be taken by leaving behind a company that we had worked hard to establish, and a lifestyle to which we had become accustomed.
We not only wanted to create a successful business, but one that was scalable and could branch out to multiple markets. In order to do this, we needed to raise capital and secure a facility. Through friends and family only, we were able to do an initial raise of $2,000,000 with almost $1,000,000 of tenant improvements provided by the leaseholder. This was done with a proven track record and a solid business plan.
After two years of building a business we were finally able to lift our heads and look around. It was suggested to us that we enter a competition called Venture Madness. I had no idea what this was, let alone know how to put together a pitch deck to present our company. Once we were accepted, we made sure that we had plenty of online votes, and I got to work on my presentation. I can’t thank my mentors enough for helping me shape my presentation into something people would understand.
My first experience with Venture Madness was the opening reception. There, I met people who are now a major part of my life. Two of my current board members were introduced to me at that networking event, as well as many influential members of the community. The networking opportunity is priceless. After the blur of the competition I met Mario Martinez, who is not only a board member and mentor, but I am proud to say a friend.
Although we were not in the competition to take on immediate investment, I can say that Venture Madness was invaluable political/social capital that helped propel PTT into the Phoenix entrepreneurial community. From there, we were able to take advantage of many of the wonderful programs that Arizona Commerce Authority and the city have to offer, such as Job Training Grants and Professional Development Grants.
I can honestly say that winning Venture Madness was the true launching point for Pinnacle Transplant Technologies. Now, I feel that it is also my duty to give back and try to help other entrepreneurs have a similar experience.
Gabe Hyams MBA, CTBS, President/Executive Director at Pinnacle Transplant Technologies and Chairman, Invest Southwest, Venture Madness.
Pinnacle Transplant Technologies is a proud sponsor of Invest Southwest.