Entrepreneur Past Events / 2013 Creative Economy Pitch Contest

Entrepreneurs Get Creative at First Sandbox Pitch Contest of 2013

Creative Economy Pitch Contest

Cupcakes, hand-made glass jewelry, and vintage cameras. No, these were not items out of the Martha Stewart Living Magazine. Instead, they were some of the many ideas featured at our March 28th Creative Economy Pitch Contest. During the event, eight entrepreneur finalists pitched their arts/crafts, food fashion, and design ideas in front of over 100 people at the United Teen Equality Center in Lowell.

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The contest featured a panel of special guest judges who have thrived in the creative economy sector (from left to right): 

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Before the pitches began, entrepreneur finalists and applicants who did not get selected to pitch had the opportunity to showcase their products/services to audience members. Ideas included a mobile truck that sells fashion accessories, hand-made Khmer medallions, and a business that refurbishes vintage camera.

 

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After this, Helena Fruscio (left), the Creative Economy Industry Director for the Commonwealth of MA, kicked-off the evening with a great speech. “I commend the Sandbox for having a pitch contest dedicated to Creative Economy ventures,” said Fruscio. “Events like this spread the entrepreneurial spirit to the creative community and will ultimately help lead to job growth in this sector.”
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Then the pitches began! This contest featured innovative ideas including a cupcake food truck, a makerspace for fashion hacks in Lowell, and a workshop to empower at-risk youth to develop their own art-based organizations. This contest drew in a lot of applicants outside of the Merrimack Valley. Veronica Chapman, who was one the finalists and resides in Cambridge, thinks this is a great initiative. She said that, “the Sandbox really has created a great platform for entrepreneurs to not only get capital, but important feedback to further develop their idea. It’s pretty exciting to see what they are doing for the region” 

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Like previous pitch contests, applicants who did not make it as a final presenter had the opportunity to put their name in a hat and be chosen to pitch on the spot as the Wild Card. Michelle Grewal (right) was picked and showed no nerves! Her website Invite Dazzle allows direct sales professionals to instantly download designed invitations for their home shows at an affordable cost.

 

 

 

 

In the end, all eight entrepreneurs shined, but the judges had to make a call on who would be the evening’s top winners. Here is the list:

1st Place
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Veronica Chapman – My Crowning Jewel
Fashionable head wraps that help women protect their hair from breakage, adorn their crowns following hair loss, or mask a bad hair day.

2nd Place & Fan-Favorite 
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Marquis Victor- Elevated Thought Foundation
Launching a “Creative. Community. Change” workshop to help at-risk youth develop their own society conscious, art-based organization or business ideas while building skills in areas of business, writing, art, craftsmanship, and community leadership.

3rd Place
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Diane DeMarco – The Cupcakory
Boston’s original cupcake truck that uses less sugar and locally sourced and organic ingredients.

 

Finalist Presenters

My Crowning Jewel
Veronica N. Chapman – My Crowning Jewel
Fashionable head wraps that help women protect their hair from breakage, adorn their crowns following hair loss, or mask a bad hair day.

New Vestures
Diana Coluntino – New Vestures
Space for fashion hacks, designers and those who want to make cool stuff. They offer memberships, space rentals and resources featuring classes in sewing, illustration, millinery, jewelry making and new technology.

The Cupcakory
Diane DeMarco – The Cupcakory
Boston’s original cupcake truck that uses less sugar and locally sourced and organic ingredients.

invite dazzle
Michelle Grewal – Invite Dazzle
Creative + stylish invitations, free marketing tools and technology training for direct sales professionals-with a sparkling twist!

Le Jus Beverages
Julia Grunert – Le Jus Beverages
Produces lightly sparkling fruit and flower-based beverages with the focus on European flavors. Their beverages are free off artificial coloring, preservatives and caffeine.

Style This Shindig
Chhavy Sinuon – Style This Shindig and Flower Mobile
Events based styling company that designs cohesive looks for special events using custom made props and custom designed floral arrangements. To meet needs for holidays and other special functions, they set up a pop up flower mobile in vehicles such as a vintage trailer or airstream trailer.

Elevated Thought Foundation
Marquis Victor – Elevated Thought Foundation
Launching a “Creative. Community. Change” workshop to help at-risk youth develop their own society conscious, art-based organization or business ideas while building skills in areas of business, writing, art, craftsmanship, and community leadership.

Mill City Glass Works
Peter Zimmerman – Mill City Glass Works
Glass blowing studio at Western Ave. Studios that will feature a line of hand-made glass gifts, jewelry, and glass arts well as offering workshops for the public.