Naturally Boulder, an economic development organization whose mission is to nurture community, leadership and innovation in the Colorado natural products industry, announced the judges for Naturally Boulder’s 10th anniversary Pitch Slam, taking place as part of the 2014 Autumn Awards and Pitch Slam Party on Wednesday, Oct. 1 at Boulder’s St. Julien Hotel.
Judging this year’s Naturally Boulder Pitch Slam will be four prior Pitch Slam winners:
- Phil Anson, founder and CEO of EVOL Foods, 2006 Pitch Slam winner
- Nova Covington, founder and CEO of Goddess Garden, 2009 Pitch Slam winner
- Julie Nirvelli, founder and head honcho, White Girl Salsa, 2010 Pitch Slam winner
- Kerry Gilmartin, founder, Bamboobies, 2011 Pitch Slam Winner
“The Pitch Slam has been a signature event for Naturally Boulder for many years,” said Bill Capsalis, president of Naturally Boulder. “This is the first time in our history that our judging panel has been comprised entirely of prior winners, and each of these successful entrepreneurs will bring valuable insights and perspective to our Pitch Slam contestants.”
This year’s Pitch Slam preliminary judging round, beginning at 2:30 p.m. at the St. Julien, will be capped at no more than 25 participants. The Pitch Slam preliminary round is free and open to the public; doors open at 2 p.m. To participate in the Pitch Slam, entrepreneurs must:
- Be members of Naturally Boulder
- Represent a company in business for at least one year, with demonstrated revenue
- Be doing business in the Boulder/Denver area
The deadline for entering the 2014 Pitch Slam is Monday, Sept. 15, at 5 p.m. Entry details are available online at naturallyboulder.org/events.
During the Pitch Slam preliminaries, entrepreneurs from new and emerging natural products companies will have two minutes each to pitch their unique concepts to the judges, plus a twoâminute Q&A. Five finalists will be selected to present live on stage at the Autumn Awards and Pitch Slam Party at the St. Julien that evening; winners will receive prize packages of businessâbuilding services provided by Naturally Boulder supporters and free Naturally Boulder memberships. Last year’s grand prize package was valued at nearly $40,000.
The audience at the St. Julien will be able to help select the winners, casting votes via text message as the Pitch Slam happens.
Naturally Boulder Autumn Awards
Along with the Pitch Slam, the 2014 Naturally Boulder Autumn Awards will be presented at the St. Julien on the evening of Oct. 1. Naturally Boulder member companies submitted entries early this fall, and the board of directors of Naturally Boulder determined the winners.
Naturally Boulder award categories include:
- Best Young Business Award, won in 2013 by Alfalfa’s Market. This award is for rising stars in the natural products industry, in business five years or fewer, demonstrating the ability to survive and grow in the competitive world of startâups.
- Company of the Year Award, won in 2013 by WhiteWave Foods. This award is for successful companies in business for more than five years that have proved their ability to thrive and succeed as leaders in the natural products industry.
- Lance Gentry Breakthrough Innovation Award, for an inventive product, service, or process that provides purposeful health and wellness benefits to consumers, won in 2013 by Goddess Garden.
- Lifetime Achievement Award, won in 2013 by Mo Siegel, founder of Celestial Seasonings.
Naturally Boulder’s 2014 Autumn Awards and Pitch Slam Party begins with cocktails, networking, red carpet photos and a buffet, from 5 to 7 p.m. The Pitch Slam finals and awards presentation begin at 9 p.m.
Tickets may be purchased online at naturallyboulder.org. Advance ticket prices are $65 for Naturally Boulder members and $75 for nonâmembers. At 5 p.m. on Sept. 19, ticket prices will rise to $90 for members and $100 for nonâmembers. Tickets for the 2013 Naturally Boulder Autumn Awards and Pitch Slam sold out days in advance, with more than 350 persons attending.