McCullough Shriver ’13, the founder of activewear brand Sweetflexx, won the grand prize at Hamilton’s annual Pitch Competition on Nov. 4. Sweetflexx manufactures leggings built-in with resistance bands that allow wearers to exercise throughout their daily routines.
The Pitch Competition, held Nov. 2-4, allows students and Graduates of the Last Decade (GOLD) to jumpstart their business ideas with the help of numerous entrepreneurs and financiers. Participants spend the weekend developing and pitching their ideas in workshops with the judges, culminating with a final pitch presentation on Sunday.
Michael Fawcett ’66, Hedy Foreman, Natasha Householder ’83, and Sam Matlick ’17 returned as judges along with Anna Mowat ’18, last year’s winner.
Mowat noted that her company Hestia Technologies “wouldn’t be in existence” without this event. “It’s a great opportunity for entrepreneurship at Hamilton,” and she urges all students with business ideas to participate.
Ten teams participated in this year’s competition. After pitching their ideas and receiving feedback from the judges on Saturday, three finalists pitched their refined business models on Sunday morning.
Judge Foreman said that all participants exhibited “meaningful preparation” and a wide array of business ideas.
As grand prize winner, Shriver received one year of advisory services from Meacham Woodfield, LLC, legal services from McCarter & English, LLP, and a $2,500 cash prize.
Nico Yardas ’18, Aaron Beguelin ’18, and Sebastian Lissarrague ’18, the founders of Co-Operation, won first prize. Co-Operation is a business seeking to establish affordable, co-living spaces in secondary and tertiary housing markets. They will receive 13 weeks of coaching from Householder and a $1,000 cash prize.
Robert Berk ’20 won second prize with Apprentice, an online platform joining college students with entrepreneurs for an affordable rate, granting students valuable work experience and entrepreneurs highly motivated apprentices. He also received 13 weeks of coaching from Householder ’83 and a $500 cash prize.
Florence “Flo” Turiaf ’17 received the Best of All the Rest award, awarded to a business idea that did not place in the finals, but also deserved recognition.
Grand prize winner Shriver ’13 suggested that current Hamilton students should take advantage of the college’s resources and never be afraid to reach out.
The Pitch Competition is one example of alumni willingness to help current students, exhibited by their continued presence and support during the competition annually.