Pitch & Re-Play

The MERLIN Pitch & rePlay is back

Musical chairs for entrepreneurs … but the music doesn’t stop and no one is cut out of the process.  MERLIN Mentors is again hosting the MERLIN Pitch & rePlay on Zoom Thursday August 12, 2021 2:00 – 4:00pm. 

This session gives entrepreneurs a unique opportunity to fine tune their pitch in a non-competitive environment to a few interested listeners. They get immediate feedback on their idea from a small but eager audience. All this is repeated five times to different small groups where entrepreneurs  get to make corrections perfecting their pitch and their presentation style all while gaining helpful feedback and meeting others who can help. Those who pitch range from individuals who have been thinking over an idea, to CEOs of companies preparing to go into the investor arena for funding.

In prior years as a live event in a room buzzing with conversations, the Pitch & rePlay has proven to be an extremely successful event. Several now well known startups on the Madison Scene have used this forum for their initial pitch to the startup community.  For 2021, with special thanks to 5 Lakes Institute for Zoom support this virtual Pitch & rePlay will be similar to that used successfully in the g-Beta’s  Mentor Swarms.

The intent of the Pitch and re-Play is a departure from the typical pitch event.  The structure of most pitch events is a ‘one-shot up and out’ experience for the entrepreneur where feedback is limited to a few questions at the end (if that). All presenters are winners here as each presenter gets to pitch five times in succession to five different small groups of interested listeners.  This enables participants to perfect their pitch making changes on the fly and testing ideas on ways to better convey their stories.  The exposure to five different audiences provides small group dynamics and facilitates receiving helpful feedback on each pitch.  Also entrepreneurs potentially make new connections with people who can help.

Guidance for those who want to Pitch

Due to the limitations of the virtual setting only five entrepreneurs will be pitching. Application deadline is  July 31, 2021.  Although having an existing entity (for profit or not for profit) is not a requirement, those who apply should have thought through the problem they are addressing, their solution, how they intend to build a sustainable business and how their skills and experience rise to the task of executing the project

Specifically a good pitch should cover:

  • who you are
  • what problem you are solving
  • who you target as customers
  • why your solution will interest them enough to buy and
  • how you will build a sustainable business around your vision.

The format is simple. Following welcome remarks, all attendees will be moved to rooms of 5-8 attendees each. the number of rooms =  the number of entrepreneurs pitching.  Each entrepreneur will be assigned to a ‘room’ to meet his/her initial audience. Each entrepreneur gets 15  minutes in the room, 5 minutes to pitch, and the rest to answer questions and receive feedback.  Entrepreneurs will receive a 1 minute warning  prior to rotating to the next room. Entrepreneurs should be able to deliver 5 pitches to 5 very different diverse and helpful audiences.  This is a very active participatory event.  Through the Zoom software screen sharing option entrepreneurs may elect to use a slide deck should they chose.

For questions contact Chief Pitch Wrangler, Dennis Barnum


Applications to pitch are closed.



Learn more about the companies that will pitch on August 12

Aimer Corp.,  Guilherme J. M. Rosa, C0-founder

Company Summary

World population growth and rising incomes and urbanization poses a great challenge to agriculture and livestock. Supplying an upward food demand requires efficient livestock production enterprises to ensure their economic, social, and environmental sustainability. Modern farms increasingly rely on new technologies such as digital tools and big data to improve their systems to source high nutritional products with reduced environmental footprint and enhanced animal welfare. Our company Aimer provides machine vision tools to help farmers accomplish these goals. Using 2D and 3D cameras and sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms, we provide top-notch digital tools for Precision Livestock Farming, including animal identification and tracking, real-time assessment of animal growth and development, automated monitoring of animal behavior and welfare, early detection of illnesses, and optimal management of feeding for multiple livestock species.



Blexx Technology, Erin Tenderholt Christiansen, CEO/founder

Company Summary

Blexx Technology is an early stage company developing a small device to disintegrate hypodermic needles onsite of use. Blexx’s needle destruction device aims to eliminate the need to store and transport medical waste through our cartridge-based system. The current process for hypodermic needle disposal is unsafe and expensive. It requires the user to discard their syringe into a red sharps box. From there, the needles go through 9+ steps of packaging, transportation, and storage, creating ample opportunities for needle stick injuries. Blexx believes that rather than storing and transporting bio-hazardous material, the solution is to eliminate it at the source! Blexx Technology is replacing a labor and capital intensive service with technology, eliminating opportunity for theft or overflowing sharps boxes, and saying goodbye to packaging and transporting medical waste!



Child Health Imprints (USA),  Harpreet Singh, CEO and Co-founder

Company Summary
Company is engaged in the development and application of IoT, artificial intelligence, and predictive analytics to make an early diagnosis of critical diseases and improve the quality of healthcare provided to neonates. The solution comprises NEO device which collects live physiological data from connected medical devices and live video from the camera. The iNICU plugin captures the clinical data & laboratory data from EMR. The intelligence layer analyses the data and enhance the overall quality of healthcare provided to neonates in NICUs. Presently, CHIL is operational within 27 NICUs in India, Singapore, and South Korea. Presently working with hospitals in Canada and US (Stanford, Mt Sinai, UW Madison, Sisters of St. Mary (SSM) Health, Mt. Sinai, and University of British Columbia) to validate the solution in North America. Establishing USA Headquarters (Madison) to gain US and global market access
Company created a US subsidiary (LLC) in 2019. Converted the LLC to a Delaware corporation March 2021.Onboarded business and medical advisory team. Executed an exclusive license to parent company IP for North America. Working with UW Health and American Family Children’s hospital for NICU installation in Madison.  Series-A ($5million) is planned for early 2022 to build out North American operations and complete company restructuring as a global business.


Trinity Sound Technologies, LLC, Stacy Jax, CEO and Founder

Company Summary
Trinity Sound Technologies provides indoor gunshot detection sensors to be installed in public and private businesses. As active shooter incidents are on the rise, immediate, reliable, automated information is necessary to save lives. The Trinity sensors detect a gunshot in milliseconds and notifies occupants and emergency responders of the location of the shot/s fired. This gives occupants situational awareness and provides responders information for a faster, safer response.
The system is plug and protect technology. Self maintaining, it requires little user interaction and notifies if off line or power issues arise. As the security industry is trending away from labor intensive, physical security, automated security solutions prove to be economical, useful and an immediate source for identifying threats anywhere in the building. Integration with other security technologies is simple to deploy and provides additional security protection for the user facility creating a fully integrated security solution. Integrations can include physical access control, cameras, low voltage lighting, PA, radio, robo calls, etc. This provides buildings with an IoT smart building security design.
The company has achieved the following milestones:
1. Hardware and software development complete
2. Installation in 9 pilot locations for a total of 20 sensors installed
3. $100,000 sale of 139 sensors for 5 elementary schools in Texas
4. Awarded US Patent 10,955,287 and is the only gunshot detection system on the market that is not a listening device – privacy guaranteed
5. $250,000 delivered in estimates in Q2 2021 with one pending sale for $10,000



Yips Yogurt Chips,  Erin Vranas, Founder


Company Summary
Yips Yogurt Chips are the first chips made from real probiotic yogurt, no fridge required! Yips targets health-conscious millennials with busy lifestyles looking for a healthy, yet indulgent, on-the-go snack. Yips Yogurt Chips launched on Valentine’s Day, 2021 and are currently sold direct-to-consumer online at www.yipsyogurtchips.com and are found in retail locations across the US.

The Virtual Pitch & rePlay is Back August 12, 2021 2:00 – 4:00 pm

Registration for attendees is open  – Act now

As this is a virtual event there is no registration fee but space is limited.  Pitches take place in ‘rooms’ to optimize exchange and discussion only possible in a small group setting.


As August 12 approaches…

We will send all attendees the Zoom link to access the event.

Applications to pitch are open now

Complete the application form on this page to the left


Follow us on Twitter for updates, announcements, and “LIVE” event tweets!