The Pitch contestant Sam Singer ’13, the creator of an all-natural chewing gum called TRAIN, recently began a partnership with Kitchen Inc., a Massachusetts-based company that allows emerging food businesses to use its space for product development.
After Singer reached out to Kitchen Inc. about using its facilities, the company expressed an interest in investing in his business, which produces chewing gum that contains just four ingredients: chicle, sugar, water and flavoring. Singer immediately recognized the opportunity for bolstering his product and taking TRAIN to the next level.
“This partnership is incredibly important because it allows me to make gum in a food-safe kitchen,” Singer says. “Without a licensed kitchen, a food business cannot make their products and sell them to the public.”
Singer initially developed his chewing gum idea in 2012 during the Colleges’ student entrepreneur competition, The Pitch. He credits his success to both his experience during the competition, in which he competed against peers with other creative and innovative ideas, and the support he has received at HWS.
“The Pitch was an amazing start to my project, and I think losing may have actually helped me more than winning may have,” Singer says. “I believed in my idea, and I know other people did as well, but The Pitch experience made me realize, I wasn’t quite there.”
Singer realized that he needed to improve his business model. Since then, he has continued to refine TRAIN and says his partnership with Kitchen Inc. is an affirmation that he’s heading in the right direction.
As TRAIN continues to progress, Singer says Susan Pliner, director of the Centennial Center for Leadership, and Amy Forbes, associate director of the Centennial Center for Leadership, both were instrumental in helping him to pursue his idea for TRAIN.
“They really encouraged me to set and follow goals and were extremely helpful not only during the Pitch, but after the competition as well,” says Singer, who majored in Spanish with a minor in comparative literature.
Currently, he is working on the product and hopes to bring TRAIN to market by the end of the summer.