Innovation Studio
Written by: Mytreyi Sureshkumar

 

Introducing Pitch Night

Last month at the Roxbury Innovation Center, four early stage founders wrapped up the SHARE business pitch preparation program by presenting for the first time to a packed room of judges, community members, alumni, program partners, family and friends. The goal of the night was to provide feedback on the founders’ business pitch to help them prepare for the next big step of securing the necessary funding to turn their dreams into reality. 

 

How It Works

When founders are ready to access capital and investment opportunities, there are many steps involved in completing the fundraising due diligence process. Innovation Studio’s SHARE program focuses on providing tangible feedback to support founders when they are ready for investors. Lastly, the presentation component showcases how founders crafted and honed their business pitch story to 3 minutes or less during the program.

The night began with some light networking, followed by Marisa Nieves, Director of MA Programs. She welcomed everyone and introduced all of the supporters that helped make the program successful. A key part of the SHARE program is pairing founders with mentors to delve into topics beyond their instructional sessions. This connection allows them to gain insights from founders who are further along in their journey. Mentors have typically gone through accelerator programs like MassChallenge or TechStars.

Nieves then described the following criteria for the judges to evaluate the founders’ pitches and provide feedback: business foundation, solution/idea, customer/market, feasibility/business model and presentation. 

Q&A Session

After each founder completed their business pitch, they faced questions from both the judges and the audience. The excitement for the ideas in the room was evident from the questions asked. One audience member mentions finding a supportive environment that inspired her to explore her own entrepreneurial interests.

Closing Results

The night concluded with the judging panel selecting Microapps as the winner. The audience voted with “SHARE bucks,” representing funding, and chose cycleStyling as their favorite, also the runner-up in the judges’ deliberation.

 

Share Bucks are used for audience engagement when picking who they would like to vote for based on the business pitches.

 

Since the program ended, founders have made it to round 2 of judging for MassChallenge US Early Stage Program and applied to the VisibleHands Boston Founder  Fellowship.

 

Founders 

Stephanie Rivera Oritz, founder of cycleStyling and Innovation Studio CREATE Alumni ‘22

 

Elizabeth Auguste, founder of EQUI and Innovation Studio CREATE Alumni ‘24

 

Daniel Alcanja, founder of Microapps and Innovation Studio GROW Alumni ‘23

 

Timothy Booker, founder of Your Creative Freedom and Innovation Studio CREATE Alumni ‘24

 

Judging Panel 

 

Hilary Ippolito-Wan, co-founder of ImpactHubBoston

 

Walther Morales, Director of Business Strategy at Innovation Studio

 

Cesar Camacho, Lending and Outreach Officer at Dorchester Bay Economic Development Center and Innovation Studio Program Alumni ‘22