Startup with new tree tapping tool wins LaunchVT Collegiate

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Startup with new tree tapping tool wins LaunchVT Collegiate

Thu, 02/22/2018 - 9:19am -- tim

Green Mountain Maple Innovations, a startup founded by students from Vermont Tech, took first place at the LaunchVT Collegiate final pitch competition, winning $4,000 and a coveted spot in the 2018 LaunchVT cohort. Jack Beauparlant, from Danville, VT and Manny Aretakis from Pembroke, ME, are pictured with LCRCC President Tom Torti. LCRCC photo.

Vermont Business Magazine Green Mountain Maple Innovations, a startup founded by students from Vermont Tech, took first place at the LaunchVT Collegiate final pitch competition, winning $4,000 and a coveted spot in the 2018 LaunchVT cohort. Jack Beauparlant, from Danville, VT and Manny Aretakis from Pembroke, ME have developed a new tool for tapping trees that is lighter, ergonomic and more efficient than traditional tools, and sells for a fraction of the price. The combination of a competitive advantage in product value and price, combined with the sizeable market in New England earned the VTC student entrepreneurs the top prize. 

All of the teams presented polished pitches and solid business plans making it a tough decision for the judges. Second place went to BeachIt, an innovative parking app solution founded by Andrew Smith from Middlebury College, and Third place was awarded to Pure Investments, a crypto-currency trading information and education platform founded by Michael Wolf from Champlain College. “The overall quality of the pitches was outstanding, and it was great to see a great mix of digital solutions, physical products, and social impact services,” said John Antonucci, Executive Director of LaunchVT. 

LaunchVT Collegiate is a pitch competition for student entrepreneurs from Vermont’s colleges and universities. After participating in competitions at their respective schools, the winning teams of student entrepreneurs from six Vermont schools converged at the UVM Davis Center on Thursday February 15th to battle it out for thousands of dollars in cash prizes and a spot in the 2018 LaunchVT cohort. The Collegiate competitors were judged by a panel of local investors on their market opportunity, business plan, and overall presentation. Information about all of the teams that presented can be found below. 

Saint Michael's College 

Better Days Therapeutic Riding Program – Equine Assisted Therapy Program 

Anna Willenbaker, 2018, Psychology Major 

Norwich University 

Voltre Liquid Biomethane - Innovative biomethane heating fuel technology 

Harry Simotwo, Freshman, General Engineering, Chief Executive Officer 

Jakaria Kamara, Freshman, Mechanical Engineering, Director of Product Design 

Sarbashree Rayamahji, Sophomore, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Director of Operations 

Drukshan Farhad, Freshman, Communications, Director of Marketing and Communications 

Middlebury College 

BeachIt - Overflow parking app that helps users and people/businesses with spaces connect. 

Andrew Smith, 2019, Founder 

Vermont Technical College 

Green Mountain Maple Innovations – Ergonomic, efficient and cost effective tree tapping tool 

Emmanuel (Manny) Aretakis, 4th year 

Jack Beauparlant, 3rd year 

University of Vermont 

TOMO - Integrated storage and tracking system that holds and charge customers' phones during meals in order to decrease mobile device use in restaurants 

Tomoki Nomura (Founder/CEO/Creative Director, Class of 2020) 

Evan Greenwald (Head of Product Development and Prototyping, Class of 2018) 

Jack Vande Water (CIF Business Analyst, Class of 2019) 

Champlain College 

Pure Investments – Crypto-currency trading information and education platform 

Michael Wolf, (‘20), co-founder 

Ezekiel Terkiel (‘20), co-founder 

LaunchVT provides early-stage acceleration programs and resources to help businesses prep, launch and soar in Vermont, and is a program of the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce. LCRCC is the largest business advocacy organization in the state. The Chamber puts everything into place to help our members grow their businesses: providing innovative member services and programs, promoting our region and making it an even better place to do business. To learn more about the Chamber, visit

Source: Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce 2.16.2018