Our 9th grade students have been hard at work this year developing business ideas, pitching to investors, and selling their products to real customers for the first time. Last week, they competed in the BUILDFest Pitch Challenge Preliminary Round Competition in front of over 30 business and community leaders serving as VIP Judges. The students were judged on their product innovation, business content, reflection on their first few months of operation & growth, and presentation quality.
All 26 teams showed up professionally dressed and ready to win. It was an incredibly close competition. But only 4 teams could advance to the Final Round on June 6.
And the finalists are…
Orphan Socks, Another Course to College | SPONSORED BY Endurance International Group
- Handmade, lost-in-the-wash themed sock puppets that come with their own unique backstories and adoption certificates.
Roll N’ Go, Dearborn STEM Academy | SPONSORED BY EY
- A handmade, roll up cloth travel kit for toiletries and other travel necessities
Razzle Dazzle, Charlestown High School | Sponsored by Goodwin
- Painted and hand-decorated ceramic spoon holders for everyday kitchen use.
Double Charge, Madison Park Technical Vocational High School | Sponsored by Bain Capital Ventures
- Handy water bottle and portable charger to keep both you and your phone charged!
These four teams are polishing their presentations for the Final Round Competition on June 6, where they will compete for thousands of dollars in startup funds and cash prizes. They will present in front of celebrity judges – including former Governor Deval Patrick and NFL player Jerod Mayo – and 500 guests representing Boston’s top business, philanthropic, and community leaders. The other 22 teams are hard at work manufacturing their products to sell to 500+ customers at the Student Business Expo portion of the event.
Want to join in on the fun? It’s not too late to come to the BUILDFest Pitch Challenge. Click here for ticket info.
Thank you to our Preliminary Round VIP Judges
- Michael Abramson, Partner, Intellectual Property Group, Holland & Knight
- Laura Acosta, Director, Diversity & Inclusion, Goodwin
- Karley Ausiello, SVP Community Impact, United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley
- Adam Beard, Senior Vice President, Jefferies, LLC
- Paul Blandini, Director of Business Operations, Autodesk
- Christopher Byner, Deputy Commissioner, Boston Centers for Youth & Families
- Michael Cam-Phung, Principal, Highland Consumer Partners
- Kate Castle, Marketing Partner, Flybridge Capital Partners
- Chris Comparato, Chief Executive Officer, Toast, Inc.
- Maryalice DeCamp, New England Business Development Leader, EY
- Page deGregorio, Vice President, Community Relations Administration, Brown Brothers Harriman & Co
- Todd Donahue, Chief Financial Officer, SessionM
- Robert Erman, Managing Director, Technology Solutions, BNY Mellon, Eagle Investments
- Terry Fitzpatrick, Vice President, Children’s Media and Education, WGBH
- Richard Gavegnano, Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer, East Boston Savings Bank
- Harvey Hill, Director of Human Resources, UPS
- Roy Hirshland, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, T3 Advisors
- Carolyn Jones, Publisher, Boston Business Journal
- Justin Kang, Executive Director, City Awake
- Michael Kesselman, EVP, Innovation & Market Growth, Endurance International Group
- John Kinzer, Chief Financial Officer, HubSpot
- Amir Madjlessi, EVP, Managing Director Business Banking, Santander
- Erin McCormick, Director, Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, UMass Boston College of Management
- Pat Petitti, Co-Founder & Co-Chief Executive Officer, Catalant
- Deb Phillips, Designer/Partner, JDP Designs
- Jose Luis Rojas, VP, Commercial Banking, Small Business Loans, Boston Private Bank & Trust Company
- Michael Shuhy, Director, Corporate Finance Group, Silicon Valley Bank
- Joe Theis, Partner, Goodwin
- Jennifer Tribush, Senior Vice President & Head of Business Development, State Street Corporation
- Georgette Verdin, Global Human Resources Executive Director, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research
- Amy Villeneuve, Former President & Chief Operating Officer, Amazon Robotics
- Karen Wallace, SVP, Communications & Branding, Fidelity Investments
- Matt Wool, General Manager, Acceleration Partners
- Paula Wright, Chief Executive Officer, JBK Management