UMass Lowell Students Go Green at Pitch Contest!
On October 4th, it was a packed house at the Offices of Moody, Famiglietti & Andronico in Tewksbury! Eight entrepreneur finalists made their pitch for thousands of dollars in cash prizes in front of five guest judges and nearly one-hundred audience members. This contest featured all types of ideas, including a bicycle sharing program, a service to provide war veterans with service dogs, and an online platform for women entrepreneurs (read more below).
At the beginning of the night, various entrepreneurs had the opportunity to showcase their product and get feedback and advice from industry experts.
When the pitches began, not only were there a diverse range of ideas, but types of entrepreneurs as well. Student entrepreneurs from UMass Lowell pitched including Samir ElKamouny and Peter Cote of Green Bikes of Lowell and David Harrington of Proto2Go. Derek Coleman, another student at UMass Lowell, was picked to pitch on the spot as the Wild Card Presenter. He pitched The University to University Transportation Company.
“Anytime you have a forum where people can pitch their ideas and get feedback from people who are connected in the industry, it’s just a great way to propel people forward,” said Anne Estabrook, a Guest Judge. “To have a group like this, who is looking to help people congeal their ideas, help them connect with the right people and eventually get funded is an exciting way to see businesses grow.”
A group of working mothers were also in the mix! Pauline Benninga, Thara Pillai, and Lisa Spitz pitched RebelWomen, an online platform for female entrepreneurs.
Samir ElKamouny and Peter Cote, students at UMass Lowell and participants in the Sandbox’s Catalyst Program, took home the top prize for Green Bikes of Lowell. Their idea promotes green transportation in Lowell through a bicycle sharing program. Green Bikes are GPS-enabled bikes that you can find and unlock using your mobile phone.
Trisha Blanchet of Operation Canine wins both 2nd Place and the Fan-Favorite Award. Her idea provides war veterans with service dogs from shelters.
Pauline Benninga, Lisa Spitz, and Thara Pillai of RebelWomen take 3rd place. Their idea is an online platform for women entrepreneurs to connect with one another, share their knowledge, and learn how to enhance their business endeavors.
In Lowell, residential food waste amounts to nearly 4,500 tons annually. CompostCab offers on-demand curbside collection of food waste. Customers would be charged based on their output. The food waste would be delivered to a local approved composting facility and the finished compost would be sold as premium compost.
Green Bikes of Lowell
Green Bikes is promoting a bicycle sharing program in the Lowell. Green Bikes are GPS-enabled bikes that you can find and unlock using your mobile phone. This is a fun and affordable way to encourage green transportation in the city.
Many service veterans suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury. Although service animals can help alleviate symptoms like depression, panic attacks, and nightmares, veterans usually have to wait up to five years before being matched with a dog. Operation Canine would provide local veterans with the opportunity to be matched with a service dog in a timely manner.
Start-up companies and individuals struggle in getting their products designed and developed. Proto2Go is a company that specializes in creating solutions to help develop prototypes. Not only do they create specialized development kits, they also provide services to all those who need help taking their idea and turning it into a product.
Women launching lifestyle and home-based businesses cite that care-giving responsibilities and/or current career demands makes it challenging to tap into existing networking opportunities, business support, and mentoring. RebelWomen.com is a platform for women entrepreneurs to connect with one another in a supportive environment, share their knowledge with a larger community, learn how to enhance their business endeavors, and promote their ventures.
A social-networking website that provides a central place to facilitate scheduling and communications for divorced families.
On a daily basis, people in the Boston area struggle to find a healthy and convenient way to eat. To address this problem, The Foodery (Lowell-based organization) crafts meals made from organic, local, sustainable ingredients, and delivers them fresh to the homes in Boston.
The Panel of Guest Judges included: