St. Johnsbury Chamber of Commerce Seeks Businesses Ready to Grow!
On August 2 at 11 a.m., the Fresh Tracks Capital Road Pitch motorcycle-riding investors will roll into downtown St. Johnsbury in search of businesses that are positioned for growth. For the fourth year, St. Johnsbury will host this pitch event, giving local businesses the opportunity to present their product or scalable business to a team of 30 entrepreneurs and investors.
Road Pitch is a multi-day motorcycling event where motorcyclists with investing, business advising or entrepreneurial experience, ride through Vermont stopping in small towns to listen to entrepreneurs pitch their business concepts. Riders provide advice, connect the entrepreneurs with resources where appropriate, and occasionally make an investment in a business opportunity. The ride also promotes Vermont as a terrific place to do business as well as a perfect motorcycling destination with lots of scenic twisting roads, picturesque small towns, and plenty of locally-sourced food and beverage. Road Pitch was founded in 2014 by Cairn Cross, Co-founder of FreshTracks Capital.
The St. Johnsbury Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Northern Community Investment Corporation, Northern Vermont Development Association, Catamount Arts, the Town of St. Johnsbury, Mosedale Integrated Services, Passumpsic Bank, St. Johnsbury Academy and others, to bring this event to St. Johnsbury. The team, along with other area business leaders and mentors, will review applications of interested businesses and select five finalists to compete on August 2.
The event, scheduled for 11 a.m., will take place at Catamount Arts (115 Eastern Ave.) The public is invited to attend. Each of the five participating businesses that pitch at the St. Johnsbury Road Pitch will receive a cash prize. The business voted by the Road Pitch Riders as winner of the St. Johnsbury event will receive an additional cash prize of $500 from Fresh Tracks Capital, and will go on to compete in the state-wide competition in October.
Road Pitch 2017 contestant, Andrea Kane, said the following about her Road Pitch experience, “First, the experience of completing the Road Pitch application was extraordinarily helpful. It encouraged me to get my act together on the most important parts of forming my plan and was the ideal follow up to the course I took with Ross Hart. And then preparing the actual pitch was a priceless experience, from writing it all out and creating the PowerPoint, to presenting the information and visiting with the road Pitch crew at the lunch that followed. Most specifically, I received vital feedback from Basil Stetson and Keith Koehler on direct sourcing and cutting fabrics. I have been in touch with both of them in the months since the Road Pitch, and they have continued to be helpful. A huge thank you to the St Johnsbury Chamber of Commerce for their work hosting the event!”
All businesses applying to pitch at the St. Johnsbury Road Pitch event are invited to participate in a free training seminar on June 6 at NVDA, (51 Eastern Ave, St. Johnsbury). This training, presented by Ross Hart, of the Small Business Development Association, is meant to give businesses seeking investors or capital the tools they need to create a compelling business pitch presentation. “So…you have a great new product or service to offer in the marketplace. Whose problem does it solve or improve a situation for? What problem does it solve? How does it solve it and do so in an improved way over other solutions available in the marketplace? These key questions and more have to be answered so that you as the entrepreneur can bring the best possible solution to the marketplace and, if desired, convince a funding source to invest in it. You have a limited amount of time to make your pitch, so how do you make the most of that time? The investor should hear enough about your product, services, and skills to want to learn more later in a more in-depth conversation. This one-hour workshop provides insight into not only what information investors are looking for but how to provide this information in a clear, concise, and focused way.”, says Hart, about his upcoming workshop.