Road Pitch 2018 is Quickly Approaching!
The fifth annual FreshTracks Road Pitch, a four day motorcycle tour of Vermont in which a gang of “business bikers” (comprised of investors, entrepreneurs and business advisors) ride around the state and stop in eight Vermont towns to listen to entrepreneurs pitch their business, will be held July 30st through August 2th 2018. Entrepreneurs interested in pitching their concept or existing business to the riders should contact one or more of the local organizers noted below in order to apply for a pitch slot. At each of the 8 stops the riders will award a “Riders Choice Prize” of $500 and a special edition “Vermont Biker Bear” contributed by Vermont Teddy Bear. Each stop is open to public viewing. For information about Road Pitch, this year’s event, the riders, as well as valuable pitching tips, visit wordpress-731040-2442901.cloudwaysapps.com.
The schedule and local organizer contact for each event is as follows:
Monday, July 30th morning Essex Junction, contact: Greg Morgan – [email protected]
Monday, July 30st afternoon Hyde Park, contact: John Mandeville – [email protected]
Tuesday, July 31st afternoon Bennington, contact: Troy Richardson – [email protected]
Wednesday, August 1st morning Rutland, contact: Karen McCalla – [email protected]
Thursday, August 2nd morning St. Johnsbury, contact: Tara Holt –[email protected]
Thursday, August 2nd afternoon Barre, apply here: http://cvedc.org/road-pitch-2018
There will be final statewide “Pitch-Off” event which will be sponsored by and held at Champlain College on October 17th. The top Road Pitch participants from around the state will be invited to pitch for a grand prize of $5,000 and a year’s worth of mentoring from the Road Pitch Riders. “We are grateful that Champlain College will again host the final Road Pitch Pitch-Off event during 2018.” said Cairn Cross, Road Pitch Founder and Co-Founder of FreshTracks Capital, “The final event will bring together the best pitches from the summer’s Road Pitch for one final pitch competition. As with our other Road Pitch events, the final event at Champlain College is open to the public.”
“We are able to offer these prizes through the generous sponsorship provided by Vermont Department of Economic Development, Champlain College and Champlain College’s BYOBiz program, Burlington Bytes, Key Bank, Gallagher Flynn and Company, Moulton Law Group, Champlain Mini Maker Faire, Social Sentinel, Vermont Teddy Bear, Dinse and EMBOLDIA” said Cross, “each of these sponsors plays a key role in the statewide entrepreneurial ecosystem and we are happy for their support.”
Last year riders listened to pitches from a wide variety of Vermont entrepreneurial companies including food and beverage product companies, software companies, advanced manufacturing companies, clothing companies and natural products companies.
The goals of Road Pitch are to connect Vermont entrepreneurs to resources such as capital and advice, advocate for entrepreneurs throughout the state, help entrepreneurs polish and refine their pitching skills and help communities build resilient entrepreneurial ecosystems, showcase entrepreneurship through a highly visible annual event, find investible opportunities for private investors and source capital for entrepreneurial businesses, and promote motorcycle touring in Vermont while having fun and riding safely.
“I am often asked to give an example of a successful outcome experienced by a Road Pitch participant,” said Cross. “In 2016 Jen and Steve Swanson pitched their startup cricket farm to the rider group during the Essex Road Pitch event and won the local competition. While they did not win the final statewide Pitch-Off event, Jen and Steve gained the attention of several riders who worked with the company for more than a year to craft a business plan and make the company ‘equity ready.’ In late 2017, Flourish Farm (https://flourishfarm.com), an indoor cricket farming operation was born, via a $600,000 investment led by some members of our Road Pitch riders’ group including serial entrepreneur Alan Newman, who is now Board Chairman of Flourish Farms.”
Newman, a Road Pitch rider who was the founder of Magic Hat, and Seventh Generation is no stranger to emerging trends. “I believe we have the right combination of passionate and enthusiastic entrepreneur -wanna be’s – in Jen & Steve combined with the obvious- to us, at least – emerging trend of cricket protein as the most sensible way to help feed the growing population of the US and the world,” said Newman.
“Our experience pitching to the rider group in 2016 was invaluable and the help from select members of the rider group to organize and lead the investment gave us the foundational support necessary to expand our operations”, said Jen Swanson co-founder of Flourish Farms. “Using crickets as a source of protein for animal and human consumption is increasing in popularity.”