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Maria Villegas and Chad Hasten with FiTbyPhase LLC take to the stage Aug. 13 at the efactory as one of three presenting startups at Demo Day.
SBJ photo by Wes Hamilton
Maria Villegas and Chad Hasten with FiTbyPhase LLC take to the stage Aug. 13 at the efactory as one of three presenting startups at Demo Day.

Efactory entrepreneurs make Demo Day presentations

Posted online

Three months of immersion in a business accelerator program concluded yesterday morning for three companies, as each group of entrepreneurs made presentations at the efactory’s Demo Day.

Held on the second floor of Missouri State University’s business incubator, 10-minute presentations were provided by the operators of FiTbyPhase LLC, SelectSitter and Easy Access Hunts LLC to give an overview of their startups and where each currently stands. The event also serves as an opportunity for the young companies to make a public pitch to potential investors.

A fourth startup company originally selected for the cohort, Gracious, withdrew from the program due to personal reasons, said Paige Oxendine, business incubator program coordinator.

The Aug. 13 Demo Day was the culminating event for the 12-week program, and third overall cohort. It was preceded by Demo Day presentations in May 2017 and October 2016.

Two of the three companies – FiTbyPhase and SelectSitter – were started by husband-and-wife collaborations, while all three were born out of a desire to address something the founders felt was lacking in the online marketplace.

For FiTbyPhase, Chad Hasten and Maria Villegas created a phone app to help members achieve health and fitness goals. To date, the app has helped over 400 women achieve those goals and generated more than $50,000 in revenue, Hasten said. A new mobile app will be launched by January 2019, he added.

“Each of our members will have a personalized experience,” he said about the customizable profiles that will be a part of the new app.

Sarah Howey said during her SelectSitter presentation that the company’s concept of connecting parents to babysitters in their area through social networks is working. She said the SelectSitter app now has more than 500 families in the Springfield area and is growing each day. Howey said parents on average use a babysitter one-and-a-half times per month. SelectSitter has set an 18-month goal of 10,000 users, which, according to Howey, when factoring in a $3 convenience fee per transaction on the app, would generate $45,000 per month.

Growth also was part of Easy Access Hunts’ Demo Day presentation, with co-owner Joey Pate stating the company’s website, which has been live for five months, has 25 properties available now connecting hunters and landowners. He said Easy Access Hunts has been focused on Missouri, but the growth potential for the popular hunting industry is vast. He estimated gross revenue for the company for this year at $110,000, with ambitious growth plans set for coming years.

“We are entering a market that is just getting started in the sharing of property,” Pate said. “And the market is huge and the opportunity is there. We are already making an impact.”

The application period for the fourth accelerator cohort opens Dec. 1. The program runs from May 13-Aug. 12, 2019.


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