BOULDER — The Front Range’s natural-products community will be showcasing its best and brightest this week, with Naturally Boulder hosting three of its biggest events: its two-day Pitch Slam competition, its Innovation Showcase and the Autumn Awards.
The events will take place on Thursday and Friday, Oct. 18 and 19.
The event will kick off from 3 to 7 p.m. on Thursday at the Boulder JCC. On the first day of the pitch competition, 20 newcomer natural-products companies will pitch their ideas to a panel of judges and about 600 audience members. The companies will have two minutes to present, followed by a three-minute Q-and-A. That 20 will be narrowed down to three winners, who will all compete the following day to win first, second and third place. The three companies each will win part of a $100,000 prize pack that includes cash as well as services, such as a free booth at Expo West — the major national natural-products trade show — and free legal, design and other businesses services. The pitches will be judged by Luke Vernon, a managing partner at Ridgeline Ventures; Melanie Judge, the Rocky Mountain region grocery buyer for Whole Foods Market; Sarah Bird, CEO of Bhakti Inc.; and Rich Clark, senior vice president of sales for Perfect Bar.
Thursday will also feature the Innovation Showcase, a chance for seasoned companies to also be featured during the events.
“We thought, ‘what about the brands already out there that are rocking and have already gone national but are innovating and coming up with something new,’” Naturally Boulder executive director Arron Mansika told BizWest. “This way, we can shine the spotlight on the young and seasoned companies.”
The Innovation Showcase will have tables on 70 experienced companies, where attendees — Mansika said they expect between 600 and 700 people the first day — can walk around and meet with the company leaders and discuss their innovations. Companies presenting at the showcase include Alpine Start, Bobo’s, Hope Hummus, Love the Wild, Purely Elizabeth, Wishgarden and many others.
From 4:30 to 8 p.m. on Friday at the Boulder JCC will be the more-formal gala for Naturally Boulder, which will include networking and a cocktail service, a buffet, keynote speaker, the finalist of the Pitch Slam and the Autumn Awards.
The keynote will be Blair Kellison, CEO of Traditional Medicinals, a company that embraces sustainability, ingredient purity and social and environmental activism.
The three finalists from Thursday’s pitch slam will also make their final pitches, and prizes will be awarded to all three of them. There will also be two awards given out during the night: Breakout Brand of the Year, which will go to a company, and Industry Leader/ Community Champ, which will go to an individual.
The 20 companies competing in the Pitch Slam are:
- NB Intros.
- Boulder Sun.
- Blue Moon Goddess.
- Look Out Here I Come.
- Khala Cloths.
- Nytro Jack.
- Rooster & Lark.
- Coconut Cloud.
- Farm&Oven Snacks.
- Backyard Soda Co.
- Victoria’s Gluten Free Kitchen.
- On Tap Kitchen.
- Vukoo Nutrition.
- Good Trip Coffee.
Registration for the two days are open through Tuesday. See link below.
Integrated People Solutions is an executive placement firm in Denver, Colorado, and is part of the Kennedy Executive Network
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