Wall Street Journal Startup of the Year

The Wall Street Journal spent roughly 20 weeks in 2013 sifting through over 500 startup companies to find the best of the best. For Task 4, the top 5 finalists were required to give a 60-second elevator pitch in the actual WSJ elevator in New York City with me. Enjoy!

Introduction to the WSJ Startup of the Year, a video series created by the Journal's news department focusing on entrepreneurship. This short video introduces the business, tech and entertainment titans who will coach 24 startup CEOs who aspire to be named "Startup of the Year."

"Nathan Gold, founder of The Demo Coach, is an elevator pitch expert. He works with entrepreneurs and executives all over the world to help them communicate their messages clearly and concisely. Now, he's teaming up with WSJ Startup of the Year to coach and evaluate our final five startups."

"Kathryn Minshew, co-founder and CEO of career planning site themuse.com, tries her hand at impressing elevator pitch expert Nathan Gold. After an initial round, Gold gives her some pointers and some time to practice with co-founder Alexandra Cavoulacos. Watch to find out how much she improves."

"Stephen Ambrose, founder of Asius Technologies, struggles to show passion in his first pitch to professional coach Nathan Gold. Watch to see how much he improves after picking up some tips and practicing with colleague Steve Lebischak. Asius makes inflatable earbuds and performance hearing aids that deliver a richer sound at lower volumes."

"Will Zuly Gonzalez, co-founder of cybersecurity firm Light Point Security, get a gold star from elevator pitch expert Nathan Gold? After her initial pitch, Gold gives her some pointers and an hour to practice with co-founder Beau Adkins. Watch and learn as she competes for the top score."

"SwipeSense co-founder Mert Iseri goes for the gold with professional pitch coach Nathan Gold. After a nearly flawless first pitch, Iseri and co-founder Yuri Malina sit down with Gold to look for room for improvement. SwipeSense makes portable, trackable hand sanitation devices aimed at preventing hospital-acquired infections."

"After her first pitch to expert Nathan Gold falls a little flat, Allison Sawyer, co-founder and CEO of Houston-based Rebellion Photonics, makes the most of Gold's coaching and the opportunity to improve. After an hour of practice with co-founder Dr. Robert Kester and a final pitch, she gets her overall score."

Rebellion Photonics was named "WSJ Startup of the Year" Monday night. Founded in 2010 by Allison Lami Sawyer and Robert Kester, Rebellion builds cameras that can spot poisonous and potentially explosive gas leaks on oil rigs and at refineries. Rebellion received a full-page advertisement as well as two of The Journal's iconic stipple drawings, one for each of the co-founders.

WSJ Startup of the Year recently announced its inaugural winner, Houston-based Rebellion Photonics, at a series finale event in New York City. Catch a glimpse of the celebration that brought SOTY mentors, entrepreneurs and supporters together under one roof.

It was my honor to be asked to coach these 5 amazing companies. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience working with the team at the WSJ and the supporting team from ish.tv Entertainment. Stay tuned to the Wall Street Journal online for the next Startup of the Year contest. Thank you WSJ.com, for calling me an Elevator Pitch Expert, it is a title I cherish.