Pitch Night heralds latest LaunchPad
The newest member of the LaunchPad Long Island family will celebrate its grand opening with a showcase of regional innovation.
LaunchPad Westbury, an 8,000-square-foot co-working space carved out of the 180,000-square-foot office complex at 1025 Old Country Road, officially opens for business Monday. The sixth Long Island facility to wave the LaunchPad flag will mark its debut Monday evening with its first Pitch Night, a “Shark Tank”-like event placing four early-stage regional startups in front of some of Long Island’s top angel investors.
The collaborative workspace, which features 10 private offices and 16 independent work stations, will open with six full-time tenants, according to LaunchPad Westbury Community Manager Michael Watt, “running the gamut from a company that sells farm-fresh snacks to a company developing a mechanism for dealing with hospital-based infections.”
The tenant roster could expand after Monday night. One presenting company scheduled to move into a LaunchPad Westbury office, Watt noted, and at least one other is considering residency.
LaunchPad Long Island founder and CEO Andrew Hazen – a serial investor who’s scored with everything from bagels and bobbleheads to domain registrations and venture capitalization – said a pitch-a-thon spotlighting regional startups was the ideal opener for the new LaunchPad facility, since “growing big things is key to expanding Long Island’s economy.”
“Long Island has been known for its technology and entrepreneurial spirit for decades,” Hazen said. “Pitch Night provides an excellent forum for exploring ideas and opportunities that could very well evolve into the next big thing.”
That entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in the four Pitch Night presenters chosen to herald the new LaunchPad. Among those hoping to become the next big thing is Felicia Fleitman, founder and CEO of future LaunchPad Westbury resident SavvyHires, a niche corporate headhunter focused on recruiting millennials directly from college campuses.
Joining SavvyHires in the spotlight are the makers of scheduling/managing app Team Tracky and Junior Lubin, founder and CEO of Elmont-based skateboarding startup Supafly Skate Co. Lubin is also considering LaunchPad Westbury residency, according to Watt.
Also pitching at the Sept. 12 event: Laura Russo, a hairdresser-turned-entrepreneur and chief executive of Laura Alison Design, a circa-2010 Huntington startup producing elegant hooded scarves and unique workout paraphernalia.