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Switchboard Live Lands Investment

An Orlando entrepreneur partially credits a mistake he recently made with helping him land an investment earlier this month.

 Rudy Ellis had recently pitched investors his live-streaming company Switchboard Live in New York. However, during that pitch, he failed to mention the reasons why a business would use the platform until later in the appearance. The result was some investors had tuned out by the time he got to it.

“I learned from that pitch,” he said. “They have to know the framework of what I was pitching or they won’t be interested.”

Ellis rebounded during his next pitch and told the Orlando Sentinel that the company has received a $1.5 million total investment from a group led by New World Angels in Boca Raton.

The money will be used to build out the company’s platform, debut a new cloud-based product by year’s end and grow its team of six, Ellis said.

 

Switchboard began as an idea known as Joicaster at a weekend-long business-building competition in 2013.

Ever since, the company has won pitch competition in Central Florida and went through a handful of business incubators, including the high-profile TechStars in 2016.

“It’s humbling because I know where I started as that first-time entrepreneur,” Ellis said. “Being able to paint a picture or show a vision of where I see this marketplace going is an awesome experience.”

Ellis’ pitch of Switchboard Live has evolved over time.

Today, when he pitches in front of investors, he’ll have cofounder and Chief Product Officer Jason Kotte in the room with him.

The ups and downs of pitching a company is something entrepreneurs must get used to, Kotte said.

“For every thumbs up you receive you get three, five or 10 times as many ‘What the hell is this?’” Kotte said. “You have to have thick skin. It’s a wild ride.”

Switchboard represents New World Angels’ fourth investment this year.

BY: Marco Santana (Orlando Sentinel)

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