WRITTEN BY ALLISON WAY, SENIOR COPYWRITER & CHIEF EDITOR
Since Kauzu walked away with a $250,000 convertible promissory note courtesy of Gramercy Private Equity at The Gigabit Challenge Finale, the Chicago-based startup has been developing new plans for 2012 including partnership development, product development, fundraising and hiring.
Think Big Partners’ Gigabit Challenge was a global business plan competition looking for new applications to disrupt technology on the Google Fiber Network. Prizes included the People’s Choice Award, a $100,000 Grand Prize and the $250,000 Born Global Prize, which was given to Kauzu by Michael Gale of Gramercy Private Equity.
As one of the most energetic and creative pitches during The Gigabit Challenge Finale on January 18, 2012, Kauzu captivated the audience and the judges with its unique spin on changing the US employment industry. Kauzu seeks to innovate the $170 billion industry by providing a dynamic, digital online environment with unique tools to create timely connections.
“This was a win for our team, and that’s all I really care about,” said Mitch Schneider, CEO, Founder and Chairman of Kauzu. “This gives my team a pat on the back. It also creates visibility and exposure. Gramercy, Silicon Valley Bank, Microsoft—they all want to see us succeed. The validation is amazing. It only propels our chance to succeed.”
Kauzu was one of the 17 Finalists to present at The Gigabit Challenge Finale in front of 17 esteemed judges from Kansas City and from across the nation.
“This was another company that did a fantastic job with their pitch and connecting with the audience,” said Chris Bernard, Gigabit Challenge judge, in a recent article in Silicon Prairie News. “I’m super eager to see what these guys do. I think they have some unique ideas and a fantastic team.”
|Mitch Schneider, CEO of Kauzu.|
Post-Gigabit Challenge, Kauzu hopes to continue to develop more partnerships both in and outside of Chicago. With these partnerships, Kauzu hopes to fund raise more effectively and more quickly to allow for cross-generating revenue. The startup also hopes to start the hiring process in May.
“This experience has helped us form new partners and has allowed us to provide value back to new startups,” said Schneider. “We are going to use other startup products so we can connect them with others too. We want to open doors for others just like people have done for us.”
In addition, Kauzu is planning another trip to Kansas City to connect with Think Big Partners’ accelerator and collaborative workspace and to strengthen more partnerships in Silicon Prairie. Schneider also mentioned a two-location startup launch in both Chicago and Kansas City.
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