Vermont Business Magazine The Bikers rode to the Vermont Granite Museum in Barre for the Central Vermont Road Pitch on Thursday. By the time the dust settled, there was no question: She Flys was the “Riders’ Choice." She Flys was also the “People’s Choice” winner. The Central Vermont Road Pitch was the final stop on the on the FreshTracks Road Pitch eight-city tour in which forty venture capitalists, investors, angel funders and financial advisors ride in to hear from entrepreneurs eager to make a “pitch” for funding for their based-in-Vermont projects.
In a competition in which six entrepreneurs made a pitch to the bikers, She Flys clearly rose to the top. Still Thyme Botanicals, a sparkling herbal tea brewer, was the riders’ second choice.
The problem that She Flys addresses is the extreme difficultly women face when attempting to answer nature's call outdoors, especially in cold and/or group settings. The solution is a layer-able line of outdoor pants that allow all anatomies to comfortably use the bathroom outside, without exposing skin to the elements, or to others.
Georgia Grace Edwards & Bianca Gonzalez in Utah. She Flys website photos.
Georgia Grace Edwards and Bianca Gonzalez made the winning presentation. The products are made of only ethically sourced and environmentally sustainable materials. The first prototype, thermal leggings, are fleece lined and meant for winter activities. They are made out of 100% recycled materials.
www.sheflyapparel.com: "In the summer of 2016, co-founders Georgia Grace Edwards and Bianca Gonzalez met while interning at Goldman Sachs in Salt Lake City, Utah. They bonded throughout long endurance hikes all over the state. On a particularly long hike—18 miles to and from Mt. Timpanogos—Georgia Grace and Bianca experienced several awkward bathroom breaks on the trail, where they were exposed in the presence of others and a chilly wind on the summit. Bianca, like many women, knew this pain point all too well, but when she and Georgia Grace looked to the market for an answer, nothing cut it. DIY solutions were unreliable, hiking dresses lacked a fashion-forwardness for the modern woman and remained defenseless in the cold, and female urination devices (FUDs) suggested there was something wrong with female anatomies (not to mention their tendency to overflow, or their sanitation issues on the trail!).
"In January 2018, Georgia Grace brought the business to life through Middlebury College's MiddEntrepreneurs class—a start-up incubator that prepared her to secure first place in Vermont's first ever SOUP Pitch Competition (see us 'In The Press'). Charlotte and Nick have since joined the team, and it continues to grow. On your next pit stop, come see us in Burlington, where we work out of the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies and test our She Flys right here in the Vermont wilderness!"
She Flys will now be entered into the 2019 Fresh Tracks 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 of business mentoring from the Road Pitch Riders.
Shy Flys earned $1,000 as the “Riders’ Choice,” a Vermont Teddy Bear and $250 as the “People’s Choice.” Still Thyme Botanicals earned $250.
In addition to She Flys and Still Thyme Botanicals, Bodega, goodMix Foods, Trace and WonderWindow also had the opportunity to present their products to the potential investors and advisors.
“The importance of this event cannot be overstated,” said William Moore, President of the Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce and Chair of this year’s event. “The pitchers were carefully screened by our Road Pitch Committee, the cream of crop rose to the top and they were given the incredible opportunity to appear before a select group of investors and advisors. While not everyone walked away with a check in their pocket, the contacts these entrepreneurs connected with will prove to be invaluable.”
The Central Vermont Road Pitch is made possible by the very generous support of Community National Bank the premier sponsor, and additional local sponsors: The Barre Area Development Corporation, The Barre Partnership, The Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce, The Central Vermont Economic Development Corporation, JET Envelope, Montpelier Alive, Montpelier Development Corporation, Northfield Savings Bank, Revitalizing Waterbury, The Times Argus, and The World.
Statewide Sponsors of the Road Pitch include: Fresh Tracks Capital, the Vermont Department of Economic Development, Key Bank, Gallagher, Flynn & Co., Champlain College, Social Sentinel, Bytes.co, Vermont Teddy Bear, Moulton Law, Emboldia, Maker Faire, Dinse, and the Vermont Small Business Development Center.
In addition to Moore, the Central Vermont Road Pitch Planning Committee is comprised of: Mark Browning, Stone and Browning Property Management; Laura Gebhart, Montpelier Development Corporation; Dan Groberg, Montpelier Alive; Josh Jerome, Barre Partnership; Alyssa Johnson, Revitalizing Waterbury; David Rubel, Community National Bank; Joel Schwartz, Barre Area Development; and Jamie Stewart, Central Vermont Economic Development Corporation.
Source: Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce 8.2.2018