This was it! On March 26th, months of hard-work, dedication, and a will to succeed paid off for our Top 6 teams as they pitched to distinguished panelists from the entrepreneurial world in pursuit of a $7,500 Idea Track and $15,000 Traction Track prize. After checking-in, guests were ushered into Azusa Pacific University’s Upper-Turner Campus Center to take advantage of the photo-booth and to take part in the Pop-Up Shop Experience. While enjoying free Chick-fil-A, attendees explored booths of Zuventurez Fellows (past competitors), purchased products from teams who were pitching this year, and had the opportunity to enter into the raffle for a FREE Apple Watch from the APU Computer Store. As the music quieted and people took their seats, the excitement built, and then the pitching began…
Already ‘prospering’ in the Pacific Northwest, Savannah Case pitched her idea for CBD infused cold brew at the ZV Finals and won the Traction Track prize of $15,000 for her business! With a pitch that artfully articulated how her coffee incorporates the health benefits of the hemp plant without any negative side-effects of THC, Savannah makes the ‘Case’ for coffee that is both inexplicably delicious AND good for your health. With $15,000 ready to be put to work, look for “Prosper Coffee Co.” to expand in the very near future!
Who to Choose? Scriberr News!
“A group of young, innovative journalists with a passion for pursuing all sides of truth.” Michael Ayetiwa, Jamie Roebuck-Joseph, and Kalen D’Almeida pitched their idea for honest and upfront digital news at the ZV Finals and won the $7,500 prize for the Idea Track! Now looking to gain traction in the competitive business market, “Scriberr News” pursues all angles of truth to differentiate themselves and provide the best possible content for their consumers. Look out for Scriberr these next few years, they will be the ones in the news, because they will be the ones publishing it!
“Woohoo! But Who’s Who?”
You may be familiar with who won the grand prizes but what about the rest of our amazing Top 6 teams? Enjoy a quick synopsis of our remaining ambitious teams:
Monte Thigpen has been involved with Zuventurez since its founding years and his venture title, “Katoa”, can be translated from the Polynesian Maori language as “all whole or complete.” Thigpen and his team completed their journey this season by reaching the Top 6 and pitching their latest product, ‘Elope,’ at the ZV Finals. Elope is a digital wallet service that allows users to track their saving while linking with popular online shopping sites for an easier way to plan purchases. ElopePro, the paid version of this mobile application, partners with banks, credit unions, and other mission driven institutions to provide a personally branded interface for companies that wish to connect their banking and saving through Elope. From the biggest of payments, to the smallest of errands, Elope Eases Everything.
Matthew Tanoue and his wife, Jessica, reached the Top 6 for the 2017-2018 ZV Finals with their “Love Strong Rings” pitch. This year, they returned with prehistoric tenacity and a rebranded look that featured “Caveman Bands.” Pitching rings that are perfectly suited for those engaged in an active lifestyle, Tanoue’s product encourages you to “Find a Band as Tough as Your Man.” Staying on the cutting-edge of design and innovation, Caveman Bands offers Rustic, Vibrant, and Silicone collections of their high-end product.
“Knowhere” is a visual travel search engine that provides pictures and information about fantastic travel destinations around the globe. Cameron Beck and his team have generated an algorithm that can match your preferences, too! Knowhere is here to make the vacation planning process just as simple as scrolling through social media. Just tap on a picture to find information about the location, current weather, and even average consumer prices. Know where you are traveling, with Knowhere!
Threads of Hope
Airielle and Rachelle Bains aim to alleviate economic stress of Filipino families with their non-profit. “Threads of Hope” purchases handmade crafts from the Philippines and distributes them to business that wish to sell them to raise money for their own ventures. These companies then send back at least half of the proceeds that are then reinvested into the Filipino community to support the crafters and their families. Threads of Hope seeks to improve the lives of these families, one craft at a time.
“Minor” Prizes for Major Influencers
At Zuventurez, and in business, more is better… More customers, more traction, more growth, more money! We especially emphasize that last one here at Zuventurez, which is why we gave out BONUS prizes! Rachelle Bains from “Threads of Hope” won the $500 MVP prize that is awarded to the individual (non-founder) that contributes the most to a team after joining the venture. Cameron Beck’s “Knowhere” was able to secure the $500 prize from the Audience Choice with a fantastic pitch that showcased the need indecisive travelers have for an app that displays both images and details of a destination while tailoring suggestions to the user’s preferences. Francisco Balseca’s “Mountain Shredders” won the $1,000 Kingdom Impact award granted to the individual whose business is best suited to serve the Kingdom of God as its goals are achieved. Balseca’s selling of a comprehensive guide on how to read the Bible for teens helped make his business more than qualified to receive this compensation.
Nerves of Next Year
As the night came to a close, smiles and congratulations were all around while the big checks were handed out. Yet, there were questions about next year’s Season of Pitch. The pitching shouldn’t have to end! From past competitors to aspiring entrepreneurial newcomers, all are welcome to join Season 7 of Zuventurez Pitching competition. Think you have what it takes? Or maybe just interested in checking it out? All the information you need can be found right HERE. We hope you’ll join us this fall as we kick-off another exciting season of pitching. And remember, “Business Happens on Tuesdays” in our weekly workshops in Wilden Hall!
Thank you for another phenomenal season of pitch and for allowing me to be your tour guide along the way! Cheers, and ‘til next time,