PubTalk attendees will get time to pitch their products, firms

By Gordon Oliver, Columbian business editor

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Perhaps in recognition of baseball season, Southwest Washington PubTalk is tossing a change-up to its usual format this month with a “hot mic” that gives five people a chance to deliver 90-second pitches about their companies and products.

The June PubTalk, scheduled from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, should offer an element of surprise. A drawing will determine which 5 people get to make a pitch.

“We haven’t done this before,” said event coordinator Maria Swanson. “We felt would be interesting for participants to say something relevant about their businesses in 90 seconds.”

The evening also will include presentations from three companies with a range of technology, manufacturing, and consumer products. Global Inspection Solutions of Portland, founded in 2009 by three engineers, offers a scanning process to provide 3D parts inspection for a variety of manufactured industrial products, making it easier to identify and resolve manufacturing defects. Three-year-old Helidyne of Vancouver has developed a more energy-efficient converter to replace the turbine typically used in geothermal plants. And Excel Sports Science Inc. of Eugene, Ore., makes AquaJogger products including a buoyancy belt and exercise sandals.

This month’s expert panel, which will comment on the business pitches and “hot mic” pitches, includes Kermit Yensen, a veteran marketing manager at companies including Hewlett-Packard and Tektronix; Michael A. Kaplan, co-founder and managing principal of GK Ventures, which makes equity investments in early-stage companies; and Spencer J. Brown, a retired corporate executive in numerous technology companies who was a key leader in over two dozen corporate ownership transactions.

PubTalk is held at AHA, 415 W. Sixth St., Suite 605, in Vancouver. The cost, $25 for the general public and $20 for Oregon Entrepreneur Network members, includes light snacks and drinks. Get details or register at http://swwdc.org/events. The event is co-sponsored by the Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council and the Columbia River Economic Development Council.