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May 20, 2020 | Tom Ballard

Sofia Tomov pitched again yesterday in “Startup Runway 8th Edition” event

Knoxvillian Sofia Tomov, fresh off an impressive performance at last week’s  “Pitch for Good: Pandemic Edition,” was pitching Qardian Labs again yesterday in the “Startup Runway 8th Edition” event. Like other pitch competitions, it was in virtual format featuring 10 teams in the program run by Valor Ventures.

While she did not win either of the $10,000 top prizes, it no doubt was an important event in the evolution of her company. According to Kimberly Shriver of Cox Enterprises, the presenting sponsor, one-third of the early stage companies that have presented in the previous seven showcases have successfully raise a significant seed round within a year.

The two winners were:

  • Judges Prize – Pruuvn, a start-up that empowers organizations and individuals to establish trusted relationships through the sharing of verified credentials. Chief Executive Officer Bryan Hobbs say “its Background Tracking System assists employers in reducing the cost to find, retain, and onboard task-based workers by empowering workers to verify, store, and share their work profiles.”
  • Audience Choice – Orchard, a managed marketplace that connects personable young people with senior citizens to provide in-home tech tutorials and assistance. Founder Ming Yang describes it as “solving the problem of senior citizens not having easy access to someone that is technical and empathetic to help them with tech problems at home.”

As stated on its website, the “mission of ‘Startup Runway’ is introducing top under-represented founders to professional investors.”  Click here to see Tomov’s pre-recorded pitch.


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