Green Light founder Marouane Sadoq pitches his used car buying and trading platform during the first Start Peninsula micro pitch event of 2021 on March 18. (Trevor Metcalfe / The Virginian-Pilot)

An innovative air filtration system, a car trading app and a platform for buying and selling real estate shares are the latest winners of Start Peninsula’s first micro pitch event of 2021.
As finalists, CASSIE, Green Light and the Pocket Properties app, each get the chance to participate in the main pitch event in November.

Each of them identified a significant problem they are trying to solve, said organizer Tim Ryan.
“They also demonstrated to the judges they have a viable solution that would result in exponential growth in terms of revenue that can be generated or the number of jobs they can create,” Ryan, executive director of the StartWheel startup support organization, said in an email.

CASSIE, or Clean Air System Smart Intelligent Environment, is an air filter system that uses infrared radiation to detect and disinfect contaminants. Co-founder Eric Garrison pitched the system as a cheaper way for clients like school systems to upgrade their heating and air conditioning systems to protect students.

“It is too expensive for schools to upgrade every HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system in their district,” Garrison said at the event.

Green Light is a bidding platform that connects car owners looking to trade their vehicles and dealerships interested in buying cars. Founder Marouane Sadoq said during the event that every car sold on the platform would come with a detailed condition report, so buyers would know major repair issues beforehand.

Pocket Properties App allows users to buy and sell shares of real estate as a way to remove barriers to investing and building wealth in the industry.
“By breaking real estate down into shares that can be purchased for as low as $10, we give everyone access to the market,” said CEO Chris Rumper at the event.
Rumper said the app is simple enough for a day trader to use through curated and professionally managed properties.

The winners each received $500 and a spot at in the main pitch event on Nov. 3, when the stakes will be $5,000 and access to local entrepreneurial resources.

Additional micro pitch events will be held on April 21, Sept. 15 and Oct. 6.
The Start Peninsula pitch events are hosted by the city of Newport News and also sponsored by Hampton, Williamsburg, Poquoson, York County and James City County. In addition to the events, the organization offers workshops, mentors and guidance to startups and entrepreneurs.

Trevor Metcalfe, 757-222-5345,