SOURCE: Tallwave


May 03, 2013 10:15 ET

Tallwave Celebrates High Tide Startup Competition Finalists and Announces Program Expansion to Address Unique Needs of Entrepreneurs

Future High Tide Competitions Will Focus on Industry Verticals, Geo-Specific and Minority-Owned Business

SCOTTSDALE, AZ--(Marketwired - May 3, 2013) - At a VIP event hosted by Ernst & Young, and keynoted by Craig Barrett, retired chairman and CEO of Intel and Wayne McVicker, author of best-selling book "Starting Something," Tallwave celebrated the six finalists of its inaugural "High Tide" startup competition, and announced the program's expansion.

Arizona's entrepreneurial ecosystem, government officials, the economic development community, and corporate partners gathered at the Arizona Science Center to celebrate entrepreneurship in Arizona and the connectivity that is building broad and deep coalitions from across the state to drive its innovation economy.

Tallwave founding partner and CEO Jeffrey Pruitt praised the innovation and leadership of the six High Tide finalist companies who were selected for validation and commercialization services and funding.

"Fifty percent of the High Tide's finalists came from outside of Arizona," said Pruitt. "With the right follow-on, early-stage capital to support their growth, a number have expressed an interest in relocating their businesses to be closer to Arizona's dynamic and growing entrepreneurial ecosystem. We see this as an opportunity to expand the program and capture the best entrepreneurs and ideas from across the country by creating industry vertical (Healthcare IT, Education IT, etc.), geo-specific and minority-owned business High Tide competitions hosted in Arizona."

Donna Kent, senior vice president of Venture Development at Tallwave pointed to High Tide start-up competitions for women entrepreneurs and Hispanic entrepreneurs as immediate priorities.

"We are proud of the great startups that participated in our first High Tide," said Kent. "Providing the same hands-on management, experienced mentoring and access to capital to underserved minorities will inspire and empower an entire new pipeline of innovation that will truly make a difference in our community, our state and across the region."

Each High Tide finalist is receiving a cash grant of $15,000 for use in company operational expenses, and an additional $35,000 in scholarships for either "Product Market Fit" or "Go To Market" services from Tallwave's Venture Services Group.

Tallwave High Tide Finalists have also been invited to participate in a several high profile opportunities to showcase their innovations to qualified investors including pitch events May 7 in conjunction with the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, May 9 at the Arizona Center for Innovation in Tucson, and June 6 in Silicon Valley co-hosted by Perkins Coie and Silicon Valley Bank

In his keynote address, Barrett praised Tallwave's efforts to encourage and actively support innovation. Barrett was recently elected to Tallwave's Board of Directors along with retired chairman and CEO of Avnet, Roy Vallee.

"I have had the opportunity to work with and observe startup catalysts around the world including those in Chile, Russia, Ireland and, of course, Silicon Valley," said Barrett. "Of the variety of private or private/public partnerships I have seen, Tallwave's approach to validation and commercialization of innovation is unique and disruptive. It is applicable not only to local markets, but should work for business plans with global impact."

Finalists of the High Tide competition are:

  • Convrrt (Chandler, AZ); provides the highest lead converting SEM campaign websites using multi-step and industry specific landing pages that can be built in under 15 minutes with no tech experience.
  • Creative Allies (Santa Monica, CA); is changing the way branded merchandise is designed and sold. With an online community of over 40,000 designers, the company has completed over 750 design contests with an ever-growing collection of artists ranging from Eminem to Jack Johnson.
  • ExchangeMeds (Denver, CO); an online marketplace which allows pharmacies to find prescriptions in short supply and trade excess inventory before it expires.
  • (Phoenix, AZ); an employment resource focused on helping connect local employers with local job seekers.
  • Obelus Media (Boston, MA); delivering advertising content using existing software and media infrastructure to deliver profits to companies in search of a better way to reach the consumer.
  • (Phoenix, AZ); an online marketplace where customers can receive the best possible pricing and fastest possible service for local same-day delivery service.

For more about High Tide, watch or visit

High Tide sponsors and community partners were also recognized at last night's Gala:

Ernst & Young
Sea Level:
BMO Financial Group, CenturyLink Business, Cassidy Turley, Phoenix NAP, BlueCross BlueShield of Arizona
APSThe Biltmore Bank of ArizonaCliftonLarsonAllen, Comercia Bank, Grand Canyon University, HR Betty, IDS Technology Marketing, Perkins Coie, Silicon Valley Bank, USI Insurance Services, spotlight, Goodman's Interior Structures
Arizona Technology Council, DIRTT, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, Weiss Brown

About Tallwave:

Tallwave is a commercializor.

Headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ, with offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles, the company creates and maximizes commercial success and shareholder value for entrepreneurs and investors by validating, scaling and managing early-stage and growth ventures with a hands-on approach. 

The combination of Tallwave's proprietary lean Business Blueprint™ system for product and company validation, its unique Operator Model™ for resource development and management, and the pre-seed through series A capital Tallwave provides, sets the company apart from incubators, accelerators and venture capital firms whose business models limit the range of resources they provide.

For more information about Tallwave, visit

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