Pitch Zoo was started by John Mueller in 2013, with the first event being held in March 2013 — 53 innings were pitched in Kalamazoo during those first two years. At the time, Mueller was a professor at Western Michigan University (WMU) where he taught entrepreneurship. He was actively interested in the Kalamazoo and wanted to be supportive of the local startup community. After observing the activities in the local startup community he felt that one of the areas that local entrepreneurs needed to work on was how to talk succinctly about the important parts of their business — i.e. pitching their business idea to others. Thus, Pitch Zoo was born.
Pitch Zoo started as a monthly gathering of the Kalamazoo startup community where individuals fast pitch their new business idea (3 minutes) to the local Kalamazoo crowd in a fun environment, and receive constructive feedback on their pitch. [ See FAQ for more details about the structure of the events and the guidelines for pitches ]
Pitch Zoo events were initially held the first Monday of every month from 6:30-7:30pm in the Maestro’s offices — a Kalamazoo-based tech company [ Thank you Maestro ].
One of the pitchers during the first year was Mark Omwansa. Mark has since joined the team in 2016 to work on making Pitch Zoo an organization that could have multiple chapters / meetups.