Earlier this summer, some 130 members of the Crown Heights Jewish community gathered to cheer on four intrepid entrepreneurs, as they pitched their start-ups at Fund It.
A project of Crown Heights Young Entrepreneurs (CHYE), Fund It put some of the Jewish community’s finest up against a “Shark Tank” style group of investors.
We recently caught up with some of the participants to hear how their experience went and their advice for the Crown Heights community.
Noah Blumenthal is a software engineer and the founder of bargeapp.com, a web-app that specializes in load testing for sites.
“I was struck by how honest and successful the investors were,” he said. “It was really refreshing to see successful religious business people.”
Since getting an investment from Daniel Wolfson, Blumenthal has been “pretty heads-down” in his business.
“The advice and interest in my project that I’ve gotten from Daniel Wolfson over the past two months has really been one of a kind,” Blumenthal said.
He also remains excited about CHYE and its future offerings.
“I loved working in the CHYE working space and I’d love to see it expand. Being in the office exposed me to the event and gave me this amazing opportunity.”
Avi Goldstein was also able to successfully fund his venture, State Gear, a company he started to create and sell medical accessories.
“I saw someone post about the Fund It event on Facebook,” Goldstein said. “This was my first time dealing with CHYE. The event was great, they were in it to make it work for everyone.”
“Now with this investment, I hope to be able to prototype and sell new products on our site.”
Yosef Levine served as MC and part of the review panel for applicants. Noting on the continued growth and strength of the Crown Heights entrepreneurial community, Levine noted, “there were many people with a lot of passion and entrepreneurial talent. They believed in what they had to say.”
This, Levine said, is key to being a successful entrepreneur.
“Be thoughtful, believe in your idea, and reach out to others to help develop your ideas,” he said.
According to Rabbi Yehoshua Werde, director of CHYE, the success in this years Fund It event is a testament to the talent of the community.
“The values both our participants and the greater community gain from this event are really astounding. We look forward to ‘Fund It”s return next year as an annual event.”