Road Pitch rolls out 2017 winners

Vermont Business Magazine Now that 10 entrepreneurs have won their local pitches, they'll gear up for the statewide pitch-off in October. The fourth annual FreshTracks Road Pitch, a five-day motorcycle tour of Vermont in which a gang of more than 60 “business bikers” (comprised of investors, entrepreneurs and business advisers) ride around the state, stopping in 10 towns to listen to entrepreneurs pitch their business concepts, was held July 31st through August 4th 2017.

The 2017 riders listened to a total of 44 business presentations. Each pitch was scored by the judges (riders) on predetermined criteria with the highest scoring presenter at each location awarded a “Riders Choice Prize” of $500 and a special edition “Vermont Biker Bear” contributed by Vermont Teddy Bear. Each stop was open to the public for viewing.

The riders heard 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.

Below is the list of winners from each location:

Essex Junction - MajorWise

MajorWise is a software platform we have created that we sell to college career centers, high schools, and state departments of labor. Our platform helps schools/departments better connect students with internships, volunteering, and learning opportunities. We do this by automating local outreach to help these organizations find more local opportunities for students to gain experience and develop essential skills.

Grand Isle - Sustainability Benefits

More and more companies want to help their employees see the real financial and environmental payoffs from smart investments. Offered like a traditional benefit, similar to flex spending and other wellness offerings, our service allows employers to advance corporate sustainability initiatives beyond the office walls while providing a valuable benefit to employees.

Lowell - Vermont Chalky Paint

Vermont Chalky Paint is a non-toxic paint that’s Mined, Manufactured & Made in Vermont. Paint on wood, metal, glass and hard-to-paint plastic with ease! No priming – no sanding, just paint! No waxing is required, yet high-traffic surfaces such as floors, countertops or cabinets may benefit from our non-toxic alternative to polyurethane, our Vermont Chalky Paint Clear Coat or Decoupage formulas.

Rutland - Fire Technologies International, LLC

Fire Technologies International LLC, a small Vermont firm with an extensive firefighting background, has taken the supervision and control of the individual fire hose discharges on a fire apparatus to a new level.

Bennington – Valt

Valt is freeing internet users from the tedium of password management and the threat of digital identify theft with a new approach to password management. Valt users lock their passwords behind an automatically generated random master password that is translated into a series of images, which are easier to remember than text. Users can access their Valt across all their devices, allowing them to manage, generate and instantly retrieve any of their passwords, never wasting another moment being locked out of a site.

Brattleboro - Sugar Bob’s Finest Kind

Smoked Maple Syrup is versatile and dynamic. It blends and punctuates. Use it in glazes and marinades, sauces and gravies, soups and stews, indoors and out, to bring your culinary experience to the next level. We gently infuse the richest and darkest pure maple syrup with hardwood smoke to create this magical and all natural addition to American cuisine. Sugar Bob’s Finest Kind is made from real maple syrup and real hardwood smoke – nothing else added.

Randolph - Edgeworks Creative

“Edgeworks Creative provides an end-to-end suite of interactive eLearning tools for instructor-led corporate training in both classroom and remote settings. Our unique platform is used by global brands and local businesses alike.”

Barre - Whistlekick

Whistlekick is a provider and distributor of branded gear, accessories and clothing for martial artists. The company seeks further market penetration with increased marketing of its brand by expansion of its product lines with higher quality products, including media offerings such as books and internet content.

St. Johnsbury - Biochar Waste Management

Biochar, a carbon product produced from plant matter, is used to improve water quality & quantity, and to increase the retention of nutrients in the soil. As a soil enhancer, biochar is an important tool to increase crop yields. Sustainable biochar is a relatively inexpensive technology, widely applicable and scalable. The Pions have designed, built and customized a continuous-flow biochar machine which can be used in the northeast for filtration systems to address nutrient runoff challenges.

Hyde Park - Potlicker Kitchen

“Potlicker Kitchen specializes in beer jelly, wine jelly, unique small-batch jams, and seasonal pickles. We tap, peel, slice, forage, simmer, and hand-pour in Stowe, Vermont.”

What’s next for the Road Pitch? There will be a final statewide “Pitch-Off” event onOctober 19thsponsored by Champlain College and held in the Champlain Room starting at4:00PM. The Road Pitch participants named above will be invited to pitch again for a grand prize of $5,000 and a year’s worth of mentoring from the Road Pitch Riders. “We are pleased that Champlain College has again agreed to host the final Road Pitch Pitch-Off event during 2017,” said Cairn Cross, Road Pitch Founder and Co-Founder of FreshTracks Capital, “The final event will bring together the local winners in each town for one final statewide pitch competition. As with our other Road Pitch events, the final event 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, Merritt & Merritt, Key Bank, Gallagher Flynn and Company, Moulton Law Group, Social Sentinel, Vermont Teddy Bear and EMBOLDIA” said Cross, “each of these sponsors plays a key role in the statewide entrepreneurial ecosystem and we are happy for their support.”

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, 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.

“The 2017 Road Pitch event was notable for two things” said Cross “First we had an increase in ridership from outside of Vermont with 14 riders coming from around the northeast to bring advice, capital and connections to our Vermont businesses. Second, the quality of the pitches increased once again as the local organizers worked hard to coach and prepare the presenters.”

For information about Road Pitch, this year’s event, the riders and more,

Road Pitch is a multi-day motorcycling event where motorcyclists with investing, business advising or entrepreneurial experience ride through Vermont stopping in small towns to listen to entrepreneurs pitch their business concepts. Riders provide advice, connect the entrepreneurs with resources where appropriate, and occasionally make an investment in a business opportunity.

The ride also promotes Vermont as a terrific place to do business as well as a perfect motorcycling destination with lots of scenic twisting roads, picturesque small towns, and plenty of locally sourced food and beverage. Road Pitch was founded in 2014 by Cairn Cross, Co-founder of FreshTracks Capital.

Source: Shelburne, Vermont. FreshTracks