Recently I had the pleasure of attending Peak Pitch at Hunter Mountain. Now in its 11th year, the event, hosted by Primary Venture Partners, is a day-long gathering of entrepreneurs coupled with many of the prominent investors in the New York tech ecosystem, nestled away on a serene mountain in upstate New York.
For the entrepreneurs, the day began at 5AM in Flatiron, when 80+ of the city’s innovators boarded two buses to take the short ride up to the mountain for the day filled with skiing, socializing, and pitching/meeting investors. The investors, numbering over 90 in total, had congregated the day before at the mountain for an evening of poker and were ready to be pitched when the group arrived at the lodge in time for breakfast.
This was one event that truly embodies three pillars that have served as a foundation for the growth of the New York Tech ecosystem: diversity, community, and energy.
“We assemble this group to build the greater community and foster collaboration in an unique environment that brings a spark and energy that’s different from typical speed dating pitch events. The investor-only portion on Thursday night is an important piece as we want to work with our colleagues to effectively nurture and support the entrepreneurial community in New York,” remarked Brad Svrluga, Partner at Primary Venture Partners. “We want to bring everyone together to showcase how diverse the NYC community is with the breadth of startups and investors that attend the event each year,“ said Ben Sun, Partner at Primary Venture Partners
Despite limited sleep and fueled by caffeine, the entrepreneurs brought their best as they were tasked to pitch the investors on the chairlift ride up the mountain, which forced them to compress their pitches to mere minutes. The culmination of the all the pitches – both on the lift and in the lodge, resulted in three winners emerging based on consensus from the attending investors:
Dream Forward – 3rd Place
Founded in 2015, Dream Forward is a low cost plan provider for 401(K)s for businesses that is designed to increase the savings rate of employees by leveraging technology. The company has received funding from Newark Venture Partners and the VC Fintech Accelerator.
Abaris Financial – 2nd Place
Founded by Matt Carey, Adam Colombo, and Nimish Shukla, Abaris Financial is the first direct-to-consumer platform for private pensions. The company has received a total of $720K in investment since its founding in 201
eCreditHero – 1st Place
Founded by Nicole Sanchez in 2013, eCreditHero is an online platform that helps people fix their credit. Users are able to fix errors on their credit reports while receiving support and guidance on the credit rebuilding process. The company counts Corigin Ventures, Financial Solutions Lab, and Grand Central Tech as its backers.