Steve and Jen Swanson of Tomorrow’s Harvest, with Joan Goldstein, Bill Shouldice and Cairn Cross at Green Mountain Harley Davidson in Essex Junction on August 1. Vermont Business Magazine photo.
Vermont Business Magazine More than 45 motorcycle riders circumnavigated Vermont from August 1st through August 5th as part of the third annual FreshTracks Capital Road Pitch. The riders (comprised of investors, entrepreneurs and business advisors) each travelled more than 550 miles and stopped in 10 towns to review 50 business pitches from local entrepreneurs. Each entrepreneur had seven minutes to present their business concept or plan and eight minutes to answer questions from the group of riders. In each town, a Riders’ Choice Winner was selected and the winner received $500, and a special edition Vermont Teddy Bear biker bear and an entry into the Road Pitch statewide “Pitch-off” to be held on October 18th at Champlain College.
“We watched 50 well-rehearsed pitches from both start-up companies and established businesses this year”, said Cairn Cross, co-founder of FreshTracks Capital and creator of Road Pitch. “The local organizers in each town did a terrific job of coaching the entrepreneurs. The competition is going to be fierce at the final ‘Pitch-off’ on October 18th..” At the final Pitch-off, one overall statewide Riders’ Choice Winner will be picked and awarded $4,000 and mentorship from the Road Pitch Riders for a year.
The towns and their winners were as follows:
Julie Moir Messervy of Home Outside holds her Teddy Bear prize in Randolph on August 3. VBM photo.
Essex Junction: Tomorrow’s Harvest, a food company producing products made from crickets.
Rutland: Clustas, which has brought to market a unique and proprietary portable weight training system.
Bennington: Windrush.io, software to make data visualization easy and fun.
Brattleboro: ITVFest, the premier company for independent television show production.
Barre: Liz Lovely, which produces delicious gluten free cookies.
Randolph (Vermont Technical College): Home Outside, a simple software application that helps homeowners professionally design landscaping and outdoor spaces.
St. Johnsbury: The Chimney Scrubber LLC, an ingenious chimney cleaning system for wood burning fireplaces and stoves.
Lowell: Tara Lynn Bridal, a clothing design and manufacturing firm.
Hyde Park: MoTown Mushrooms, supplies equipment and seed to allow users to grow mushrooms at home.
South Hero: Macrofuel Foods, a tasty meal replacement beverage.
At the North Hero House August 5. VBM photo.
“We are able to offer prizes through the generous sponsorship provided by Vermont Department of Economic Development, Champlain College, Burlington Bytes, Key Bank, Gallagher Flynn and Company, Vermont Small Business Development Center, Dinse, Vermont Business Magazine, Moulton Law Group, DesignBook, Milk Money, Merritt and Merritt, North Country Angel Group, Champlain Mini Makers Faire, Vermont Teddy Bear and LaunchVT”, 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.
This year while touring the state, the rider group handed out 500 Vermont Brownie Company Brownies during the week with a Share the Road riding safety and motorcycle awareness message.
Road Pitch bikers pulling into Vermont Technical College in Randolph on August 3. VBM photo.
About Road Pitch:
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 but always award a Riders’ Choice prize in every town they stop in. The ride 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.