The 2021 edition of the annual Naturally Bay Area Pitch Slam event took place virtually on Feb. 11, unfolding in a perfectly timed series of seven energy-filled presentations by some of today’s most inspired—and inspiring—natural food and beverage entrepreneurs.
The seven finalists, chosen from dozens of nominees for this year’s event, were evaluated by a panel of prestigious industry judges that included John Foraker, partner, co-founder and CEO of Once Upon a Farm; McConnel Smith, partner at VMG Partners; Robyn Rutledge, founder and CEO of SBG Growth; Karen Ivanis-Rogers, the director of business ventures for Albertsons; and Chris Robb, senior account executive for Dirty Hands, LLC.
The virtual public also played a role in selecting one of the winners of this year’s competition using an online poll, awarding the People’s Choice award to the Ugly Pickle Co., the brand that also nabbed the third-place award from judges.
The second-place award was given to Wild for Superfoods, a line of air popped chips made from ancient grain teff that was presented by the brand’s CEO Aleem Ahmed. And the Naturally Bay Area Pitch Slam first-place award winner is Aura Bora, a botanical-infused sparkling water brand with an eye-catching, colorful design that was pitched by founder Paul Voge.
As this year’s winner, the brand will receive a prize package valued at over $30,000 that includes $5,000 cash and a booth at Natural Products Expo East 2021 in Philadelphia.