Young entrepreneurs strike again!
Teams from across the country submitted to compete at the 2021 INCubatoredu National Student Pitch. From a pool of thirty-six impressive submissions, five teams were invited to pitch their businesses to a panel of esteemed judges for real funding.
While virtual this year, this Pitch event is always held during the annual Uncharted Learning Summit. To a packed 'Zoom' audience, these teams pitched their businesses, answered tough questions, and demonstrated purpose and passion for their work. Then, two teams were awarded funding.
Who pitched? These teams:
ClogCop Co. | A bathware company specializing in lavatory sink drain stoppers. Coming in three-piece sets that include ClogCups, ClogCaps, and ClogCoins, our product offers consumers an easy fix to a persistent problem: clogged sink drains. We hope to stop the pain of stuck drains one ClogCop at a time!
Buffalo Grove High School, Teacher: Karen Roberts Mentors:
Craig Leva, CEO, Arway Confections Inc./Long Grove Confectionery Co. and
Mike Schiestel, Operations Manager and General Administrator, Suburban Trim and Glass Co.
FYDER | FYDER Filament believes that technological innovation and environmental consciousness should go hand in hand. FYDER Filament, the first 100% recycled polypropylene 3D printer filament, extends the life of discarded industrial plastic bulk bags by transforming this manufacturing waste stream into spools of 3D printer filament.
Alamo Heights High School, Teachers: Patrice Bartlett, Cathy Klumpp Mentor: Bonnie Giddens, Registered Architect
GiftE | A free, interactive app for users to store, trade, send, and donate their gift cards. Businesses have the ability to purchase our NiftE Notices, which remind you to use your gift card whenever you walk by one of their stores, and SwiftE Analytics to broaden their marketing efforts. Let’s keep your money in your pocket with GiftE!
Westlake High School, Teachers: Jeff Nixon, Lindsey Stokes Mentor: Katina Kenyon, Co-Founder/Chief Commercial Officer of Applaudo Studios & Co-Founder of Dell Women's Entrepreneur Network DWEN Austin
Mallet Head | Interchangeable Percussion is the future of the percussion industry. We produce an interchangeable percussion mallet with worlds of variation. Our mallets will revolutionize the world of percussion.
Midlothian High School 'The MILE', Teacher: Demi Pratt Mentor: John Knight, Senior Vice President, First Financial Bank
Traverse |A peer-to-peer product rental marketplace that allows users and local businesses to rent and lend items from the people within their communities. Through Traverse, users can save money by renting the products they need for cheap prices, as well as earn money passively by lending out the products they own.
Vista Ridge High School, Teacher: Dana Jones, Stephan George Mentors: Ed Alosco, Partner Development Representative - Amazon Web Services and Jessie Walker, Senior Business Strategy Consultant - Bazaarvoice
How it worked
The Pitch process required each team to submit a recorded pitch video plus a promotional video, and then take part in a virtual Q&A with real entrepreneurs / investors, live, in front of a virtual Zoom audience of hundreds. The 2021 panel of judges were:
- Karl Fruecht, SilkRoad Technology
- Michael Miles, EmployBridge
- Maria Odiamar-Racho, Allstate
- Jimmy Odom, Bit Captial Group
- Jan Ryan, The University of Texas at Austin
INCubatoredu co-founder Karl Fruecht offered this after the presentations: 'Great presentations! All the things investors look for in a start up were represented here today. For those who weren't funded this time, move forward, prove us wrong!'
CONGRATULATIONS to the winners:
$20,000 of seed funding was awarded. FYDER and GiftE each walked away with $10,000! All the teams were champs, answering the judges' questions like pros, and clearly passionate and deeply knowledgable about their businesses.
$10,000 to GiftE
Curious about the pitches? Here's a link to a recording of the event.
Core to this program, INCubatoredu, is authentic, real-world experiences and connection to 'industry' that the teaching team, comprised of committed teachers and volunteer coaches and mentors, provides. These volunteers offer their time and talent to guide this real-world entrepreneurial journey. Thank you!
An entrepreneurial mindset & capacity is critical for the Future of Work
INCubatoredu students learn how to identify a problem, iterate on the solution, and build a business. But in the end, these students are equipped with the skills, mindset and behaviors of an entrepreneur - resiliency, creativity, and agility — and have the agency to address problems they care about. They can be confident in creating their own paths in a time of uncertainty. Let's all continue to celebrate and support these skills.
Uncharted Learning offers programs for elementary, middle and high school students. Connect with us about entrepreneurial programs for youth, and bringing entrepreneurship skills to educators through our workshops.
Read more in our blog.