June 19, 2019

Our First Call-in Competition (#67)

by The Pitch

Back in May, we invited listeners to call in and pitch us their startups. And you really delivered, giving us over 200 pitches! In this episode, we’ll play some of our favorite submissions — and then choose one lucky winner to come on and pitch our investors. But there’s more! We need you to help us pick one last founder for the pitch room. After you listen, please vote at thepitch.show/vote

Transcript

[phone ringing]

Josh Muccio: Hello, this is Josh.

Rich Kelleman: Hey Josh, this is Rich Kelleman. I'm calling about the pitch.

Josh: Where are you calling from?

Rich Kelleman: From Boulder, Colorado. 

[phone ringing]

Josh: You have reached the pitch hotline. 

Quinn: Hey I’m quinn ballard From Nashville. 

Briannon: Hi Josh my name is Briannon Payne. I’m so glad you answered. 

Josh: Right on. Where are you calling from? 

Briannon: I’m calling from San Francisco  

Sean Mccarty: This is Sean Mcarty.

Josh: What’s up Sean? 

Andrew: My name is Andrew.

Josh: Where are you calling from?

Andrew: Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Josh: Oh Canada eh. 

A few weeks ago, we opened up the phone lines and invited listeners to call in and pitch their business. And a ton of you took us up on it! Over 200! It was really fun to hear all your creative business ideas.

Josh: You pick the hairstyle you want on the phone and it’s like a marketplace, so it’s like uber for haircuts.

Founder: That’s correct.

Founder: By harnessing the power of plasma… fuels metals and aggregate materials.

Josh: Cool.

Founder: And people really want this product in a can. They’re begging for it.

Josh: Oh, so it's kinda like Beer pong without the Beer? 

Tom: Yeah. 

From Gimlet, this is The Pitch. I’m Josh Muccio.

Welcome to our first call-in show!

One of the reasons we did this was because we know that a lot of our listeners are entrepreneurs themselves. And we figured, hey, we’re always looking for awesome startups to pitch our investors! Maybe some of YOU should be on the show. 

So we saved a slot at our next recording event for one of the founders who called in. And after we heard all these pitches, we had to decide: who should come on the show?

So here’s what we’re going to do now: we’re going to play you a few of our favorite pitches from that call-in… and then take you on the journey of how we came to pick one lucky winner to pitch our investors. 

We started by whittling it down to our three favorite calls, and here they are: Producer Heather Rogers joined me in the studio.

[phone ringing]

Heather: We have a caller.

Josh: Hello. This is Josh. 

Hector Morales: How ya doing Josh?

Josh: I'm doing good. How are you?

Hector Morales: Good, good, man. I was just, I love your show, so I'm calling in about the one minute pitch.

Josh: Well, thank you so much. Thank you for calling in. What's your name?

Hector Morales: My name is Hector Morales.

Josh: Where are you calling from?

Hector Morales: Oh, Miami, Florida.

Josh: All right. I'm excited to hear your pitch, Hector. We've got a timer here, we're going to start it. now. 

Hector Morales: We are creating a 2.0 version of furniture shopping for the nation. The old way is to go a big box store in which you may find one or two options you like and finding out that they only come in one color and one size. On top of that, it's usually made in China with low-grade construction and low-grade materials. Here at Luxology Home, we believe there's a better way to build a sofa and we back up our quality and affordable pricing with free white-glove delivery, free returns, one to two week production lead times and the first ever furniture trade-in program, so you will never have to sell you furniture to a questionable character on Craigslist ever again. Best of all, everything we do and everything we make is passionately eco-friendly and sustainable. From the wood frames we build to the clean foams, glues, and fabric sources, to the very manufacturing processes we use to craft aristin furniture with love right here in Miami. 

Hector Morales: That timer got me really nervous at the end.

Josh: That's the idea, we want to make you nervous.

Hector Morales: Yeah,

Josh: Umm... is this a real business or are you like is it available

Hector Morales: Oh, yeah. I've already invested 1.3 million into it.

Josh: You've invested 1.3 million, or investors have invested?

Hector Morales: Yes, yes got a million dollar loan from my bank and I invested three hundred of my own money. I started another business in 2009, a furniture store, so we did real well with that store and so the bank approved this loan 

Josh: That's great. And in the most concise possible way, tell me what's different about the product that you've spent a million dollars developing? This better be some damn good couch, right?

Hector Morales: It's damn good. So uhh everything is just top of the line. You can through the sofa off the second floor and it’ll survive.

Josh: So this is like high end direct to consumer shipped furniture?

Hector Morales: High end, but not high pricing, so that's the idea here. so

Josh: All right, I am super curious to hear about this miracle couch.

Hector Morales: [Laughing.] Everybody loves it here, so, you'll see.

Josh: Thanks, Hector, I really appreciate it.

Hector Morales: Thanks a lot, Josh.

Josh: All right, Have a good one.

Hector Morales: Have a good one.

Josh: Bye,

Hector Morales: Bye, bye. 

Josh: I like Hector.

Heather: Yeah.

[phone ringing]

Heather: Okay ready? 

Josh: Oh, ready? Yes. Wow. That's fast. 

Josh: Hello. This is Josh.

Leigh Isaccson: Hi Josh. This is Leigh with Dig.

Josh: Hi Leigh. Thanks for calling in. Where are you calling from?

Leigh Isaccson: I'm calling from New Orleans.

Josh: All right. Well, Leigh, I'm excited to hear your pitch.  

Leigh Isaccson: Okay.

Josh: And... Go.

Leigh Isaccson: Hi, I'm Leigh Isaacson, CEO, and Co-founder of Dig, the dog person's dating app. Dig is the best way for dog lovers and dog owners to find a compatible match and plan a dog friendly date. So far, 60,000 people have turned to Dig to find love. We get the word out in a unique cost efficient way and address pain points in both the booming $75 billion pet industry, as well as the growing world of niche dating apps. Our big dog friendly events nationwide are exclusive for Dig users. They provide lots of press and enthusiasm and offer dog companies hyper local means of getting in front of our dedicated and emotional dog loving users. 55% of single adults in the US are pet owners with dogs leading the way. We already have relationships with giants in both the pet industry and dating world. We’ve raised $410,000. And now we are seeking $350,000.

Josh: Wow.

Leigh Isaccson: Thanks.

Josh: Well done. You just crushed it. umm Okay. This is genius. Marrying pets and dating. I'm so curious. Where did you come up with this idea?

Leigh Isaccson: My sister was dating a guy who tried to be a dog person for her and... Yeah. You know how exactly where this is going. By the end of the relationship, he didn't want the dog in his apartment. He would put towels down on the couch with the dog, didn't touch anything, and she said to me, I wish I just knew from the start this wasn’t going to work because of my dog.

Josh: If you date me, you're getting me, and my pets. That’s how this works.

Leigh Isaccson: Oh you knew it.

Josh: And how are most people finding out about the App? Like how is it growing?

Leigh Isaccson: So my background is in TV news reporting. And so we do a lot of work with press. We were on How I Built This, which gave us a huge boost in their second half. The How You Built That segment.

Josh: Yeah.

Leigh Isaccson: And we do a lot of work. We were on NBC sports during the Beverly Hills dog show. And it's dogs and love, so people don't mind talking about it. Pretty fun.

Josh: Yeah, no kidding. Well, Leigh this is really, really great. Umm...  

Leigh Isaccson: I love this. Thank you so much and thank you all for doing this all the time. I love the podcast. Really appreciate it.

Josh: Thank you so much Leigh.

Leigh Isaccson: Take care. Good bye.

Josh: Bye.

Heather: Cool. That was good.

Josh: Yeah.

[phone ringing]

Josh: Hey!

Heather: Hey.

Josh: Another caller?

Heather: Ready? Ready?

Josh: Ready, ready.

Josh: Hello, this is Josh.

Eduard Skhisov: Hi, I'm trying to reach The Pitch.

Josh: You've reached The Pitch. This is Josh.

Eduard Skhisov: Okay. Hi. Um, so yes. My name is Eduard Skhisov and I am from the startup called KikSense, which is based in Denver, Colorado.

Josh: KikSense?

Eduard Skhisov: Yes. 

Josh: All right. Well, what is your one minute pitch?

Eduard Skhisov: My name is Eduard and with my wife Anna, we are co-founders of the startup called KikSense. KikSense is a platform for Karate schools and karate tournament organizers. KikSense makes training interesting when it compares student’s movement to sensei’s movement right then and there on the screen. And for karate tournament organizers who want their tournaments to run smoothly and developed cheers. KikSense cause automated competition scoring system that needs just one judge pure ring instead of five that are needed today. 

Josh: Okay. So it's like that you have sensors and people are competing in the class, and you've got a bunch of metrics. There's like a board where people can see how they're competing in the class and see how they compare to the instructor.

Eduard Skhisov: Right.

Josh: So you've got a sensei on your website? It's a karate consultant on the website. Can you tell me about him?

Eduard Skhisov: That's my son. He's working on his black belt. He is brown belt currently on his black belt. 

Josh: Okay. So your son is your first user.

Eduard Skhisov: Yes, he came up with the idea. So he's on the patent application also and then we worked together on putting together the hardware parts and so forth.

Josh: That's great. When did your son come up with this idea?

Eduard Skhisov: Well, the regional moment was probably when she yet again was lost a bout with another boy because the judgment was so bad. The scoring is just horrible in karate.

Josh: So this gets rid of the referee. Whatever the equivalent of a referee is in karate.

Eduard Skhisov: Exactly. Exactly. It's automates the scoring system and with Karate going to Olympics in 2020, they going to fail miserably. They don't know it yet.

Josh: If AI can replace refs, I think the world would be a better place.

Eduard Skhisov: Right.  

Josh: A less angry place.

Eduard Skhisov: (laughter)

Josh: Thanks again for calling in.

Eduard Skhisov: Thank you, Josh. Thank you very much. 

Josh: Of course. Have a good one.

Eduard Skhisov: Okay. You too. Bye.

OK, you just heard our three favorite pitches from the day we took your calls. Now we’re going to nail down who's number one. When we come back, we’ll take you behind the scenes at The Pitch and give you a little taste of how we choose the entrepreneurs that come on our show.

<<break>>

Welcome back to the show! You just heard our three favorite pitches from the call-in event. They came from Hector Morales from Luxology, Leigh Isaccson of Dig, and Eduard Skhisov from Kiksense. 

The next step was for me and the Pitch producers to sit down and figure out who should come on the show. And we started by asking a question ... what did we need to learn about these startups before we could make a call?

Josh: Kareem and Heather, you’re both with me, joining me in the studio today. 

Kareem: Hi, Josh.

Heather: Hey, Josh.

Josh: Okay. So, uh, I'll go first. So m- my favorite... Are we allowed to have favorites?  

Heather: I think that's fine. 

Kareem: Yeah.

Josh: So this guy, Hector Morales with Luxology. He's the guy that's doing this premium custom furniture that's made in the USA and shipped direct to consumers. And I like Hector a lot, like I think he's one of those people that, I just rooted for, and I want to see what he can do in the pitch room. What do you guys think? 

Heather: He's saying even the name of the company Luxology. He's like, "I'm making high-end stuff, but I'm making it for at a low cost."

Kareem: Mm-hmm.

Heather: And that's the part that doesn't really make sense because if he produces it here in the US, I don't understand how it's going to be cheaper to produce it here. You know, the materials are more expensive. The materials he says he's using. Labor is more expensive. And manufacturing shifted to China because labor is so cheap.

Josh: For a reason. Yeah.

Heather: Yeah. So I don't, I don't get that logic.

Josh: Yeah. I mean, he seems to think it's cheaper, but I don't, I don't know why. So those are good questions. I'll ask him.  

Heather: Yeah. 

Josh: Who do you got for us, Kareem?

Kareem: Yeah. So guys, I loved Eduard and Kicksense. Um, and his son, the karate consultant. 

Josh: The karate kid.  

Heather: [laughs]

Kareem: Uh, here's what I think. Uhh I think across sports, like more and more of like refereeing will become automated. Um, and I just look as far as like tech goes in sports. Like, if you look at baseball there, you know, instituting more tech. Um, as far as like the Umpires I don't know. I, I think there might be something there. And I know that there's a ton of people who do karate, a ton of kids who do karate. Uh, I think they might be on to something.

Josh: Yeah. But h- how do you know there are a ton of kids who do karate? Like how many?

Kareem: Did you do karate? 

Josh: Like, do I do karate? No. (laughing) Do you?

Kareem: I don't know. I, I feel like... I would say that the market's, just off the top of my head, like pretty big for karate. I feel like a lot of kids do karate when they're young.

Heather: That's pretty vague, Kareem (laughing).

Kareem: Uh (laughs).

Josh: Yeah. We're going to need more detail.

Kareem: Yeah. Well, I will ask. Um, yeah. Any other questions that I should find out? 

Heather: And also like what kind of experience do they have? Like, can they sell this?

Kareem: The founders?

Heather: Yeah.

Kareem: Got it.  

Josh: Heather, you’re up.

Heather: All right. So, um, so, I am really interested in Dig and Leigh.

Josh: You dig, dig?

Heather: I dig, dig. I mean, I would never go on it because they don't have a dog, and I'm not that crazy about dogs but ...

Josh: You’re not a dog person?

Heather: I'm not a do- I mean, I ain't like if I see them. It's totally, I'm happy to pet them.

Josh: Mm-hmm.

Heather: But I don't like them in my house. But anyway, I just like her. I think she's interesting and smart, and can talk about it really easily. And I also think that the investors are going to like it. And I think they're going to like her.

Josh: Yeah. No, I think Leigh is great, too. I guess, the, the fear is it's like, "Oh, well is this really... Does this really need to be its own dating app or does, Match or Tinder or eharmony? Like, or can they just like put a box there that's like, "I'm a dog lover." I checked the box, and then, then her business is done, right?

Heather: Right. So it's that perennial question. Is this a feature or a business?

Josh: Yeah that one. And then even if they are successful, are they ever big enough of a success? Are there that many dog owners that also want to find their soul mates via a dog pairing app or is this just never going to get big enough to be exciting to investors. I guess I worry about that. 

Heather: Like is it, is it too niche?

Josh: Yeah. Do they need to open it up to cat owners as well, you know (laughs)?

Heather: I don’t think they would get along (laughing).

Josh: No, that's true.  

Heather: Okay, so I'm going to go to Leigh, and I'm going to ask her, "Is this a feature or is it actually a business?" And I'm going to ask her like h- what is the market? How many people want to find true love through a dog app, a dog dating app?

Josh: (Laughs)

Heather: Those are my main questions, right?

Josh: Yeah. Yeah. Those, those are the questions. 

Heather: Great.

Josh: All right. So here's what we'll do, Heather, you’re going to call Leigh; Kareem, you’re going to talk to the Kicksence founders. And then, I'll go talk to Hector Morales with Luxology. Then, we're going to get some answers, and we'll come back. 

Heather: Great. 

Kareem: I got it. 

Josh: And then we'll, we'll pick our winners. 

After the break, we talk to the founders and find out who’s got the right stuff.

<<break>>

Welcome back to the show. Hey guys… 

Heather: Hey.

Kareem: Hey, Josh.

Josh: Hi, Kareem. Hey, Heather. So, what'd you guys find out? Who wants to go first?

Heather: I'll go first. 

Josh: Alright.

Heather: Hey. So, I talked to Leigh from Dig, and our questions were basically, like, is this a feature or a business? And, like, how many people are really gonna use this thing?

Josh: Yeah. Did she have good answers?

Heather: Yeah, she did actually. She was talking about how there is this huge market for these niche dating apps. So here’s what Leigh said...

Leigh Isaccson: So if you look at match corporation for example they own 49 different dating apps. And so in terms of exit possibilities places like Match Group the meet group is another one. There are these large corporations looking to not just incubate their own dating apps but to go out and purchase other dating apps. It's very much a part of the world right now in dating apps is the growth of niche dating apps you can find ones that focus on religion. You can find ones that focus on people who have a beard. And it sounds silly but people in this world know that there's there's so many and they all are able to share users because people aren't picking one or another.

Josh: So, like her whole argument is like yeah, it's really fragmented, but that's okay because there's one big company that's buying up all the fragmented ones and they make a bigger pie and that's just what they do. And, so we're gonna sell to them.

Heather: Well ... Yeah, I mean, the idea is hopefully to sell to them. I mean, it's just she sees that there's room for lots of pieces in the pie.

Josh: Okay.

Heather: But, so she's also getting, ad revenue from dog food companies and dog walking companies to advertise on her, on her app. You know and like spending on dog stuff is through the roof. So, she's got these two pretty solid foundations.

Josh: Ah, she's two businesses in one.

Heather: Yeah.

Josh: She's both a dating app and like a social media app in a way for dog lovers.

Heather: Yeah. Yeah.

Josh: Huh!

Heather: Exactly. Yeah. And she told me, on whether it's a feature or a business ...

Leigh: So the rise of niche dating apps has made this pretty commonplace among the dating app world. You've got your average dating app user using three or four dating apps at a time. People are used to kind of having their main dating app that they could swipe all day if they want to. And then dating apps that really cut to the chase, in addition kind of in their repertoire on their phone. And so people are paying across the board for you to the niche ones or the large ones. 

Heather: So she was totally unconcerned about Bumble turning on a switch and wiping her off the map. 

Josh: So, do you, do you buy it? You buy her argument?

Heather: I do, I do! I mean, ... I can see how investors would like it.

Josh: Uh huh.

Heather: I think she, she just has really solid answers to things and she didn't get ruffled and I feel like the investors really like that. What do you think, Kareem? Do you find it convincing? Her answers?

Kareem: No, I also buy the argument that it probably makes sense that have many kinds of these dating apps. so ... It's convincing and I think the advertising piece is kind of unique because it's, uh, very targeted, like who she's going after, as far as advertisers. Um, dog food companies probably wouldn't advertise on Tinder, but they would definitely advertise on this.

Heather: (laughs) Totally.

Kareem: So, that seems like a little like niche that she can corner. So, yeah. I don't know. I don't know how investors would see it, but I'm sold. 

Josh: All right, so maybe a little bit stronger of an argument after that call. That's good.

Heather: I think so.

Josh: Kareem, how did, how did your call go with, uh, the KikSense founders?

Kareem: It went great. I like them a lot. So, I brought the questions that we had about KikSence to Edward and Anna who are a delight, by the way. Um, o-one of the questions was had was like how many karate studios are there in the country and how big could the market be? 'Cause on first glance, it sounds a little bit niche. Their answer was that there's seven, about 17,000 karate studios across the country. And there's a ton of tournaments and that, you know, teachers are looking for ways to fit more students in their classes. And they claim that this allows them to do that because they can kind of just monitor more students at one time with this KikSense technology. So that was pretty convincing.

Josh: Oh, so they can have bigger classes and make more money?

Kareem: Exactly. The other thing we were concerned about was whether or not they could sell this to karate studios and dojos and things like that, but, um, on that point I was a little less convinced. 

Eduard: To a degree the sport of karate is very hierarchical. Meaning that every sensei traces its lineage to some other sensei which traces his lineage to some other sensei and so forth. So even though there is 17,000 dojos out there they are all connected to each other. Because of this kind of connectedness there is a bit of network effect where we are planning to create virality where we sell this two to one dojo and then you know the senseis of the dojo see and senseis of that dojo talked to other senseis at the tournament and they say, yeah you know this is what we are doing now. And then those senseis can talk to you know other senseis and so forth. 

Kareem: Which in fact confirms that it sounds like it's a lot of work. Um, a very like manual process. But, they had a plan for it which was promising, uh, but the plan seemed hard. 

Josh: Yeah. Do they have a background in that? Either of them? In sales?

Kareem: Um, Edward has a background in computer science a-a-and Anna has started a couple of businesses before herself. She says they were lifestyle businesses. Um, but it didn't seem like they had any direct sales experience. Their karate consultant also didn't have much business experience himself. He was also 13 years old. So.

Josh: Okay. 

Kareem: I think at the end of the day, I did like them a lot and I think they could be cool to see, pitch to our investors.

Josh: Alright.

Heather: And, so okay, Josh. How about you? You had some marching orders too.

Josh: So, I spoke with Hector. And I asked him about this manufacturing side of things. Right, like, so how is he able to manufacture in the U.S. and compete with couches made in China? And, what he said was that it's, in short, all about the middleman. There's like a lot of middlemen. 

Hector: It really comes out to about six steps roughly.

Josh: Six steps.

Hector: Before it gets to the consumer. So here, you take all those steps out ...

Josh: And then each step is adding how much cost?

Hector: It usually doubles in cost every time.

Josh: Okay, so do the math for me, so how much is a $2,000 couch from China, what is the original cost of that couch before it leaves China?

Hector: It's about $200.

Josh: So it's a 10X increase in cost?

Hector: Yes, easy.  

Josh: So, the $200 couch. If you were to buy it in China and go pick it up, by the time it hits the U.S., it costs 10 times that. It's a $2,000 couch. So, he's able to make a couch for five or 600 bucks, ship it direct to the consumer, and they're able to get that same couch for 1500 bucks. $500 less and a much better couch. 

Heather: So, it sounds like what he is doing is he's not going after the people who are buying the cheap couch. He's going after people who want a higher-end couch, but at a lower price point.

Josh: Precisely.

Heather: Got it. Okay. 

Kareem: So how does he plan on like ramping up and scaling in the U.S.? 

Josh: So, I asked him about this and specifically I was like, hey, like investors aren't gonna want to. It like ... They aren't gonna want to take on that additional risk of like trusting that you know how to launch and scale a manufacturing company. And, he said, he's like my superpower, Josh, is I know how to hire all the best people. 

Hector: Well, one of my superpowers is finding the right people, so that's what I've always been really good at. I know how to grill a person the right way, and ask them the right questions to figure out if they really know what they're talking about. Because people like to say they know what they're talking about until you put them to the fire, and then they don't really know. So I'm very picky about who's on the team, everybody brings always a positive energy and a lot of experience to the table, otherwise they're not getting hired. 

Josh: And then, we get in this conversation about manufacturing 'cause I was like manufacturing is nasty. Like people avoid it because it's so hard to do and actually make money on, and it's so messy. And, he's like … 

Hector: Manufacturing is what I love above all else, that's my favorite thing in life, it's the most beautiful thing ever.

Josh: Really?

Hector: Yes. I love manufacturing.

Josh: That has to put you in rare company.  

Hector: No matter what I do for my life I'm going to be in manufacturing. 

Heather: (laughs)

Josh: And, then I accidentally later said I was like, Oh, so you like manufacturing? That's cool and all, but that's not gonna fly with the investors. He's like, no I love manufacturing.

Heather: Hmm. I'm still skeptical.

Josh: I am so convinced. This guy's awesome.

Heather: Kareem's making a funny face.

Kareem: Yeah. Umm the business, as you've described it, is unconvincing for me at this point in time. 

Josh: Heather, what do you think?

Heather: I mean, I think that I like KikSense, in the sense of like Edward and Anna sound interesting to me. Um, but I'm not totally convinced that it's a business that's gonna fly. And, Hector ... he has a very special superpowers, but I'm also not convinced. I'm less convinced that his business is gonna work out.

Josh: You're even less convinced?

Heather: I'm even less convinced about Hector's business plan.

Josh: I've done a horrible job. Hector, I'm so sorry.

Heather: I'm sorry. (laughs)  

Josh: I tried my very best.

Heather: I do believe he has superpowers. But I think Leigh has the best business for this show and for our investors. That's where I stand.

Josh: So, you think she's the most likely of the three to get investment?

Heather: I think Leigh is the most likely of the three to get an investment. I think she's gonna do really well in the pitch room. And I think that like her business is just, it just is like really well-suited to venture capital.

Josh: Because venture capital loves dogs and dating?

Heather: They love dogs and dating ... and it's like something I can see selling for a lot of money and that's what they love.

Josh: Yeah.

Kareem: Yeah. I mean, another thing that venture capital loves is recurring revenue. And, I think that's gonna be tough to get out of Luxology in Hector's company, so that's probably my least favorite of the three. 

Josh: Get out of here. You can't compare apples to oranges here. It's a completely different category. It's a consumer startup. You can't compare that versus enterprise startup.

Kareem: That's true, but it's still … I don't know. I don't see our investors wanting to like wade into the like manufacturing waters. Um, with Dig and-and Leigh, my concern is more like what side of the dating app trend are we on at this point? Like dating apps were like huge like five years ago and so like are we on the wrong side of this trend?

Josh: Is it too late to swipe right on dating?

Kareem: (laughs) Yeah, exactly. Good one.

Josh: You do swipe right for yes, right?

Heather: (laughs)

Josh: Or is it left for yes?

Kareem: I don't know. I think you're asking the wrong group of people. But ...

Josh: Some bad things would happen if I opened up this app.

Heather: (laughs) You'd end up being surrounded by dogs.

Kareem: Yeah.

Josh: Um, the wrong dogs.

Heather: The wrong dogs.

Kareem: And, yeah, well anyway. Yeah, geez, let's not go there. 

Josh: (laughs) Kareem, you were talking. Go ahead.

Kareem: With, with the final company, KikSense, you know I have my concerns about it, but I think that like on the whole if karate is like kind of antiquated and there's ... it's like ripe for disruption, um, then introducing tech into could be good.  

Josh: So, is that your pick? Is it KikSense?

Kareem: That's my pick. My pick is KikSense.

Heather: Whoa.

Josh: Are we all just defending our own companies?

Heather: You think KikSense is more viable than, than Dig?

Kareem: Oh, yeah. Oh, well, after talking to them today, I was like I kind of like wouldn't mind them on the show. 

Heather: But, they have to convince the investors.

Kareem: (laughs) Yeah, that's true. If they want investment. I think that, you know, Leigh seems like a dynamic enough person and founder that, um ... She could really get the investors on board with what she's doing and I think I could, I could go for Dig. I dig it.

Josh: All right, so, I think, I think we all are kind of leaning towards our own people. 

Heather: I just won Kareem over, are you kidding? Come on.

Josh: Yeah. I don't know. I feel like he's still kind of want KikSense.

Josh: That's the tricky thing, right? Like, we're always trying to find good founders that are both super entertaining and exciting and compelling, but also have a good chance of winning over the room. 

Heather: And that's a lot to ask.

Josh: Yeah, our jobs are hard. (laughs) Give us a break.

Heather: Their, their jobs are harder is what I'm saying.

Josh: (laughing) Oh, yeah, yeah. 

We went around in circles for a little longer ... but eventually, we came to a decision.

Josh: It sounds like we have our winner.

Heather: Right on.

Kareem: Yeah, I think we do. 

Josh: All right! I'll give them a call.

[phone ringing]

Leigh Isaccson: Hello, this is Leigh.

Josh: Hi, Leigh. How's it going?

Leigh: Great. How are you?

Josh: I'm doing well. Are you driving?

Leigh: Oh, actually I just landed in LA and they lost my bag, which is fine.

Josh: Oh.

Leigh: Um, it's okay. It's just filled with dog treats and bandanas to give out to our brand ambassadors out here, but we are okay 'cause we just made it to the beach.

Josh: Everything's a-okay now.

Leigh: Yeah.

Josh: Oh, I hate that. That's the worst, though. Um, so guess what?

Leigh: What?

Josh: You're coming on the show.

Leigh: (Laughs). That is so great. That is so great.

Josh: (Laughs). You're our favorite.

Leigh: Oh, my gosh. Thank you.

Josh: How do you feel?

Leigh: (Laughs). I feel great. That's super exciting. I love you guys so much! I just never thought it would be mutual. I thought it would be this creepy, one-way, you know, relationship. But, I really appreciate it. We matched. That's so cool.

Josh: We matched. We swiped right.

Leigh: (Laughs). Yes.

Josh: Um, so yeah, we wanna see what you can do in the pitch room.

Leigh: Um, I can kill it. I promise you. I'm gonna do it.

Josh: Oh, yeah?

Leigh: Um, (laughs), yeah, totally. Thank you so much. I'm so looking forward to this. This is going to be amazing and I will live up to all the pizzazz and spunk that you are thinking of me as. I promise.

Josh: Thanks, Leigh.

Leigh: Yeah, thank you. Take care.

Josh: Have a good one. Bye.

Leigh: Bye.

We're really excited to see what Leigh can do in the pitch room! But the more we talked about it ... the more we thought, hey, maybe we shouldn't be the only ones making this decision. After all, the Pitch team really liked KikSense and Luxology too. So we figured ... why not open up another slot on the show. And give you all a chance to weigh in. That's right! We're going to have either Hector from Luxology or Edward and Anna from KikSense on the show – and you get to vote on which one, so whatever you’re doing, stop doing it and go vote for who you want to send to pitch our investors by going to vote thepitch.show/vote

We’ll keep the poll open for one week! So be sure to vote by June 26. 

Our show is hosted by me, Josh Muccio, produced by Heather Rogers and Kareem Maddox. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell.

Theme music by The Muse Maker. Original compositions from Breakmaster Cylinder and The Muse Maker. We are mixed by Enoch Kim. 

And here’s our disclaimer, no offer to invest is being made to or solicited from the listening audience on today’s show.

You can find us on twitter and instagram at thepitchshow. 

You can find more episodes of The Pitch for free on Spotify so follow us there or wherever you listen. We’ll be back with a new episode, next week. See ya then.