Monday, August 26, 2019

Recap: EforAll Lowell Lawrence Change the World Pitch Contest

On Thursday, August 22, Lowell's Kerouac Park hosted an EforAll Lowell-Lawrence pitch contest. What gorgeous night for an outdoor pitch contest! Mother Nature cooperated with comfortable temperatures and no more thunderstorms.
Perfect Night for a Pitch Contest
The theme for this contest was Change the World and it attracted a wide variety of ideas from mitigating climate change with Biochar to gourmet African hot sauce and everything in between. There was a decent-sized and lively crowd of entrepreneurs and their supporters. I checked out the tables, cast my table favorite votes, took photos, grabbed some delicious food from Empanada Dada (an EforAll Lowell-Lawrence Accelerator alum), and spent some time just enjoying the beautiful evening in the park.
Swan Patisserie Table
Another EforAll Lowell-Lawrence Accelerator alum,  Swan Patisserie, LLC, had a table selling their delicious pastry treats, but I was so full of tasty empanadas I had no room left for pastry.

Assertiv Table
Assertiv is a consulting service that helps people in business, government and education improve their public speaking skills through coaching, workshops and an app.  I enjoyed talking with Nathalie and practicing her PREP method of presenting a point. Once I made the rounds of the tables, I went back to make sure I gave her a vote to present. I was happy to see that she won the Table Favorite vote and got to present and that she won second prize.
Biochar Table
Urban Biochar is a new take on improving soil health and stormwater filtration with a type of carbonized biomass that differs from charcoal in the way it's created and in its filtering properties. The production process and the incorporation into the soil combine to make it carbon negative, which is definitely something we need. Do check out the link.
Weather Hazard Planning Workshop Table
Jerry is a weather strategist  who was pitching his weather hazard planning workshop. I think a lot of people were aware of needing a weather hazard plan after Wednesday's multiple tornado warnings. I was full of weather questions and enjoyed talking with him. We're going to need a lot more weather hazard planning around here as the climate changes and sea level rises.
A Couple of the Judges Checking out the UNIFIT Table
UNiFIT makes creative use of augmented reality to make it a whole lot easier to order clothes online that actually fit you.
Grass is Greener Table
Grass is Greener  is a YouTube vlog with a positive outlook. Chris was selling merch with the cool Grass is Greener logo to raise funds to support the vlogging effort. We chatted a bit about cameras before I took his picture.
USe Cart Table -- Part of the USe Cart Team
USe Cart pitched a smart shopping cart that takes self-checkout to new level -- not just reducing the long checkout lines but eliminating them -- and makes it work for small businesses too (not just the Amazons of the world). USe Cart, a UML DifferenceMaker, won the 2019 Rist Innovative Technology prize and was enormously popular at the pitch contest. It was no surprise that they won the Fan Favorite voting.
ArcLive Table
ArcLive  gives you access to research archives -- even stuff that's not digitized -- so you don't have to travel to do your historical or genealogical research.  I love the idea of reducing travel cost for scholars while making archives available.
Afro Gourmet Table
Afro Gourmet Specialist aims to bring the taste of Africa to your table. Tried some and loved it! Check her Facebook page (TroPical Spoon) to find where you can buy it. I hope to see it available in more places soon.
Sporvo Table
Sporvo is a mentorship program for former student athletes to mentor current student athletes in high school and middle school.
Needle Net Table
Needle Net keeps the area under and around the Christmas Tree neat and makes cleanup easy and environmentally friendly.  You attach it to the trunk of your real tree before it goes into the tree stand. It turns into a tree skirt and lets you just bag it up while the tree is still in the stand, and dispose of the shed needles and the skirt when you dispose of the tree.
Waist Beads Table
Waist Beads are a traditional African accessory that consist of small glass beads on a string or wire worn around the waist or hips. They can help you with body awareness and they just look cool.  Rita Ofori-Frimpong had a table full of gorgeous waist beads in different colors and shapes.
Revolutionary Creatives Table
Revolutionary Creatives is on a mission to nurture and connect the creative community.

The Judges
The judges for the evening were:
Mayor Bill Samaras welcomed us all to Lowell with a short speech to kick off the presentations.
Mayor Bill Samaras
Our EforAll Lowell-Lawrence masters of ceremonies were (as usual :-) ) Lianna Kushi and Joey Banh.
Lianna and Joy Introducing the Pitchers
The scheduled pitchers were ArcLive, Sporvo, UNiFIT, Afro Gourmet Specialist, Revolutionary Creatives, and USe Cart. Assertiv won the Table Favorite slot and Biochar got the wild card. There was an additional pitch from guest entrepreneur Caitlin McNamara, a rising entrepreneur at Lowell High, who pitched her Spritz Away stress-relieving scented spray.
Caitlin Pitching Spritz Away
The winners for the night were:
  • 1st Place: Afro Gourmet Specialist
  • 2nd Place: Assertiv
  • Third Place: Sporvo
  • Fan Favorite: Difference Maker Team: USe Cart
The Winners with their Huge Cardboard Checks

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