Business Network ChicagoEverybody Gets Funded

As I heard it—

Do you want to present your company with a 100% certainty of funding? Truck on down to Business Network Chicago’s monthly meetings. The claim is true—technically. It’s a running joke by Len Bland, who hosts these sessions. We vote. The speakers each get a dollar per vote. Hey, that’s hard cash. All joking aside, quite a few companies find funded because of these meetings—some from Venture Capital firms or Angel investors, some from Len’s own Midwest Renaissance Fund.

I dig my summer suit out of storage, skip the tie and stroll over to this month’s meeting. It feels like a soft spring day as I walk to the appointed skyscraper. Sunny, 75, green trees, flowers. Not your typical October in Chicago. There’s so much going on in this city. Why would an investor go anywhere else? Tonight I’ll see three startups each make their pitch. The elevator takes me to the great food, drink, and conversation.

 One Dollar

Patent Law Changed

The advantage of meeting at a law firm like Polsinelli Shughart is the legal updates they provide— gratis.  In case you missed it, US patent law is changed.   The USA has been on a “first to invent” system.  The rest of the world has been “first-to-file.”  Now we join the rest of the mess.  True, it eliminates the need for multiple patent strategies. It might provide better clarity on validity. Patents might issue faster.  But I say we already had it right.  The world is wrong.

CBS Foods, LLC

Are you bored with the usual culinary fare? CBS Foods creates casual gourmet seafood dishes. Tonight Shawn Davis, their CEO, serves up shrimp sandwiches and causes a sensation. This is a quality product—low fat, low cholesterol, high protein, and delicious.  CBS stands for “Chef Big Shake,” a name Davis used on a Shark Tank episode. He introduces himself as a black man that grew up in an Italian family—around great food.



People wait too long at restaurants and bars for their service and bill. A huge gap exists between a restaurant and diners. Silvrspoon plans to become the point-of-sale of the future.  Using a smartphone or tablet app, Silvrspoon enables on-demand ordering at each table. The result? People order more. Service is quicker. Loyalties build. Waitresses don’t work as hard. A restaurants gains more revenue.


Who’s on Third?

This one’s the latest venture by Kevin Callahan, affectionately known in our circles as the COO’s Bulldog. He’s professional, pugnacious, and ALL Notre Dame. This guy’s an operations guru. Due to a non-disclosure agreement, I can’t talk about his company. You had to be there. This one looks real strong and I rate it a rare 10.



CBS Foods, LLC






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Comments and re-posts are welcomed and encouraged. This is not investment advice – do your own due diligence. I cannot guarantee accuracy but I give you my best.

© 2011 John Jonelis – All Rights Reserved.


Filed under BNC Venture Capital

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