Truckee, CA - The Tahoe-Truckee region is known for a lot
of great things and now you can add innovative entrepreneurs to the
list! Six local founders presented their companies at the Tahoe Pitch
Showcase on Monday, September 11th to a packed house at Tahoe Donner's
Pizza on the Hill. The event, produced by Tahoe Silicon Mountain (TSM)
and Sierra Business Council - with the support of generous local
sponsors - was held during the TSM's Mountain Minds Monday meeting and
attracted over 100 people in person, dozens streaming from home and even
more at 2 simulcast locations in Reno.
"Our goal was to help build local entrepreneurial spirit by
showcasing some of the amazing work being done here in Tahoe and to
encourage people to pursue their business ideas," said Rachel Arst
McCullough, lead organizer of the Pitch events and co-founder of Tahoe
Silicon Mountain. "An important part of these events and TSM in general
is fostering a strong and supportive entrepreneurial culture with the
ultimate goal of creating a more diverse and less weather-dependent
economy, so that we can all continue to live, work and thrive here."
The event featured six finalists from the 18 who participated
in Tahoe Pitch Camp, an intensive, month-long workshop led by Sierra
Business Council, designed to help participants refine their business
model and create a "pitch deck" to deliver to potential investors.
Participants benefitted from the expertise of eight experienced coaches,
helping them refine their messaging, question assumptions, review
financial projections, and critique the overall quality of their
delivery. Pitch Camp participant Trina Gold of Bigwater Studios said
afterwards, "I have been working on this expansion for six years and the
only thing holding me back was having to pitch my proposal.Your help
and guidance has given me the confidence to begin this journey."
the final night of the Camp, the entrepreneurs competed for one of six
spots to deliver their pitch at the Showcase. "The competition was
tough," said Jan Holan, Pitch Camp coach, entrepreneur and investor. "I
was so impressed with the commitment and quality of the business models
but ultimately that made selecting the finalists quite difficult."
six finalists included a wide variety of businesses that reflect the
true entrepreneurial community in the Tahoe-Truckee area. They included:
Community Yogi, an app designed to disrupt the home yogi market by matching community spaces with freelance yoga instructors.
Conscious Container, a reusable bottle business, reducing carbon footprints one craft beer at a time.
Eddy Bowl, a convenient, reusable, compostable water bowl for dogs.
Fate, a "choose your own adventure" story app.
KeepOnMovin', a mobile health solution designed to help physical therapy patients do their exercises at home. Correctly. Every day.
LuDela, a social venture candle company, using better light to create better lives.
the Showcase, the finalists had five minutes to present their best
pitch to a panel of three judges. The presentations were followed by
five minutes of questions from the judges and audience. "It was so
awesome to see how polished all the entrepreneurs were. It is a
testament to hard work and preparation for something you believe in,"
said Kristin York, Vice President of Sierra Business Council and
facilitator of the Pitch Camp. "We have been working with some of these
founders since their companies were just an idea. Now, they are on stage
inspiring a room full of people with their tested business models, cool
products and compelling missions. I absolutely loved Showcase night!"
the judges selected KeepOnMovin' as the winner, based on the company's
strong traction in the market and their ability to scale. KeepOnMovin'
was pitched by Ellen Raynor, and co-founded by Mark Feinholz and Truckee
local, Scott Williams. "What was different about the Pitch Camp was
that local company founders viewed each other less as competitors than
as peers that were interested in helping one another succeed," said
Raynor. "In fact, KeepOnMovin' has refined our products with local
patient input and is excited to be expanding both within Truckee and
with large employers elsewhere in the country. We appreciate the
professional acknowledgment of our progress and the vote of confidence
that we are poised for growth."