The Startup Albany initiative took another significant step toward creating a vibrant local entrepreneurial ecosystem. More than 40 people attended the Call of Interest Pubtalk at Deluxe Brewing on Tuesday evening, including five entrepreneurs who competed in a friendly speed pitch competition.

Cynthia Fischer of Albany was voted first place by the audience for her pitch of The Curriculum Projects, an eLearning platform that allows students to do their lessons in two languages at the same time.

Brad Wilson (Better Portable Toilets) and Corey Wright (Massif Games) — both of Albany — tied for second place. Patrick Manhatton (Theory Software) and Keith McWilliams (Electrobox) also delivered speed pitches.

The Pubtalk was sponsored by the Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network, or RAIN, the City of Albany, the Albany-Millersburg Economic Development Corp, the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business Development Center at Linn-Benton Community College.

“It was exciting to see how many people turned out for our first pub talk,” said City of Albany Economic Development and Urban Renewal Director Kate Porsche. “A lot of great information was shared, and many entrepreneurs said that the speed pitches were interesting and helpful. Deluxe Brewing’s cool industrial space fit the bill perfectly, and I loved the symmetry of hosting an event for entrepreneurs in this space, home to one of Albany’s start-up success stories.”

RAIN will host a startup seminar at Albany City Hall from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on May 5. Topics will include: “How to avoid common mistakes startups make,” and “How to write a one-page business plan that impresses funders.” For more information, including registration, visit: