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This year, the excitement and tension of Pitch Slam will be packed in to one three-hour event, culminating in a celebration of innovation on March 8.

New Hope Network staff

February 22, 2023

11 Slides

One of the most exciting annual events at Natural Products Expo West is Pitch Slam, the event at which emerging brands compete for a free booth at the following year's Natural Products Expo West.

In front of a live audience, ten brands will pitch to a team of five judges, who will choose five finalists to compete again. In addition to the free booth at Natural Products Expo West 2024, the winning brand will receive more than $30,000 in services from New Hope Network.

Emceeing the event are Kuvy Ax, founder and owner of ROOT, The Good Food Agency, and Julie Zagars, managing director of Naturally Boulder. Pitch Slam is sponsored by Daiya and 301 Inc.

This year, the excitement and tension of Pitch Slam will be packed in to one three-hour event beginning at 3 p.m. PT on Wednesday, March 8. The event is open to all Expo West badge holders and can be watched online, as well.

The long road to the Pitch Slam

A committee of New Hope Network staff evaluated 192 brands' submissions, each of which included a video pitch, a survey, labels and samples, before choosing these semifinalists. From there, the selection committee chose 10 semifinalists who been mentored by Ax and these industry experts:

  • Brad Charron, CEO and “re-founder” of ALOHA.

  • Rachel Calomeni, senior vice president, HowGood.

  • Doug Helbig, chief operating officer, Green Spoon Sales.

  • Sam Kressler, owner, Stir Innovation.

  • Betsy McGinn, founder, McGinn eComm.

  • Andy Nathan, founder/CEO, Fortnight Collective.

  • Michael Movitz, co-founder, Brandjectory.

  • Randy Ornstein, senior director of alcohol, Gopuff.

  • Sindy Wise, vice president, WishGarden Herbs.

Related:Tanka's Pitch Slam victory benefits Indigenous people and the planet

The semifinalists will present three-minute pitches and then have four minutes to answer questions from these esteemed judges:

  • Alli Ball, founder/ CEO, Food Biz Wiz.

  • Kathleen Casanova, founding executive director, Project Potluck.

  • Vincent Love, managing partner, Sunrise Strategic Partners.

  • Mitch Orland, vice president, Earth Fare Markets.

  • Tyler Coppola, consultant, Base Culture.

After the judges deliberate and announce the Pitch Slam grand prize and rising star winners, the competitors, judges and attendees will celebrate the industry's innovation as exemplified by the competitors and the industry as a whole.

Click through to see the Natural Products Expo West 2023 Pitch Slam Semifinalists and brands.

natural products expo west

Natural Products Expo West Pitch Slam begins at 3 p.m. PT on Wednesday, March 8, at the Marquis Center in the Marriott. Seating is first-come, first-served. The entire event is also available live on the Natural Products Expo West Virtual page. Find the Expo West agenda, floor plans and more at To see registration options, including those for virtual access, click here.

Related:Pitch Slam Rising Star writes her story with plant-based chocolate


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