When confronted with a roadblock, entrepreneurs see an opportunity. This year’s semi-finalists for the 2020 HWS Pitch Contest have identified and developed proposals for the ideas they would like to see in the world including services, products and companies that would disrupt streaming services’ content generation, hazards experienced by firefighters, systemic inequities experienced by women and beyond.
This year, seven teams made up of 10 student competitors were selected to enter the semi-finals round. Through the competition, they will have the opportunity to hone their business proposals, as they work with an alum mentor with experience in their market of interest and receive feedback as they develop their ideas. In the spring, finalists will give their pitch to a panel of experts as they compete to win a $10,000 grant that will jumpstart their business or non-profit.
This year’s semi-finalists include:
Hannah Bini ’20, Chloe Emler ’20 and Addison Gilbard ’20 – Exit 42, a female driven multimedia company creating videos, podcasts, comics, books, virtual reality stories and television and film scripts.
Andrew Dellicicchi ’20 and Reed Tansill ’20 – Baytender, developed during the Summer Sandbox Accelerator program, provides boaters with essentials for a day in the sun, including food, beverages, skincare items and garbage disposal.
Jenna Golden ’20 – College Closet, an online platform that facilitates a peer-to-peer exchange of women’s fashion on college campuses. Individuals can rent, sell or give away clothing.
Madeline Fitzwilliam ’20 – The Motto, a brick-and-mortar restaurant that uses locally sourced produce, meats and cheeses to craft salads and sandwiches.
Kathleen Liech ’22 – Girls Pride Foundation, a non-profit foundation based in Northern Kenya to eradicate female genital mutilation and promote women empowerment through education.
Maya Weber ’20 – Syndéseis, an online platform that assists in the organizational management, tracking and educational training necessary for successful networking.
Nicole Wright ’20 – Nomex Hoodie, a more ready-to-wear and stylish evolution of the Nomex Hood, a garment used by firefighters to protect the ears, neck and sides of face not covered by a mask during fires.
Established in 2012, past winners of The Pitch Contest have gone on to launch a test-prep company in Ghana, provide scholarships and leadership training to children in Boston, and prototype a life-saving buoy for detecting drowning victims.
The finalists will pitch their ideas on Thursday, March 5.