On Monday afternoon, First Western Trust was a proud sponsor of Silicon Couloir’s Annual Pitch Day. Silicon Couloir is a Jackson Hole organization, dedicated to strengthening the local entrepreneurial community, while helping grow companies that can create good jobs.
Since our inception, First Western has been dedicated to supporting the entrepreneurial spirit of the West, and we were thrilled to be a convener for the best and brightest entrepreneurial minds in Jackson Hole.
This year’s event brought together over 160 attendees to listen to the pitches of these exciting start ups, an increase in attendance of more than 100% over 2013. 6 businesses competed against each other for $10,000 in prize money (not to mention additional money from individual investors), with Gear Wise taking this year’s top prize.
Choosing the winner from such a number of impressive start-ups is no easy feat. This year’s panel included a distinguished group of individuals within the entrepreneurial space, including:
- Jamie Coughlin, the director, New Ventures and Incubation at Dartmouth College and the director of the newly created “DEN” Innovation Center. Jamie was the former CEO and Entrepreneur in Residence of the abi Innovation Hub and a Board Member of the National Business Incubation Association (NBIA).
- Randy Garn, the chief revenue officer/principal at Hero Partners, a business acceleration firm focused on job growth and disruptive technology. He is a serial entrepreneur a and New York Times best-selling author. In 2005, he won Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award.
- Bob Grady,managing director at Cheyenne Capital and chairman of the New Jersey State Pension Fund. Previously, he was the former head of Venture Capital at The Carlyle Group and chairman of the National Venture Capital Association at Stanford Business School.
- JJ Healy, the founder of Healy Capital and venture partner at Grand Banks Capital. JJ was formerly vice president of business development at Yahoo and prior to that, vice president of the Technology Banking Group at First Boston.
- Betsy Ludwig, a private investor and operations and strategy advisor. Prior to her current role, she worked at Investcorp, Lucent Technologies, and GTS.
- Dave Morin, co-founder and CEO of the social networking start up, Path, Inc., and co-creator of Slow Ventures. A pioneer in social technology, he served as the head of Facebook Platform.
- Scott Wylie, First Western’s co-founder and CEO. Prior to founding First Western, Scott founded several banks within the private bank and trust space in the west and introduced the private banking and trust niche to Puerto Rico in 1987.
With such a successful pitch day behind us, we’re looking forward to sponsoring Silicon Couloir’s event next year and continuing to support entrepreneurship in our local Jackson community.