REDC Announces Rutland Road Pitch Entrepreneurs
Rutland, Vt. – Rutland Economic Development Corp. (REDC) has announced the names of three Rutland-area entrepreneurs who will pitch their business ideas to investors on August 1, 2016. The pitch event is scheduled for 4-6 p.m. in the Fox Room at the Rutland Free Library.
The pitch event is part of the FreshTracks Capital Road Pitch, a multi-day motorcycle tour that brings riders with investing, entrepreneurial, business and business advisory experience to towns around Vermont, where they hear business ideas from local entrepreneurs.
“The Entrepreneurship Committee at REDC is very pleased to be supporting three aspiring business owners through this process,” said REDC Executive Director and Castleton University Dean of Entrepreneurial Programs Lyle Jepson. “They’ve created unique products. Each of them has great potential to launch a successful start-up in our region.”
Ana DiTursi will pitch an expansion of her specialty food business, Ana’s Empanadas. Rollin Rochele will pitch a new fitness product called Clustas. Jake Grinbergs, a Castleton University student, will pitch SPAERAGAMES, an online fitness business.
“We are very excited to be coming back to Rutland again this year,” said Road Pitch founder Cairn Cross. “We expect to have 28 riders in attendance in Rutland. Our riders have a wide variety of experiences starting, owning and operating businesses in many different industries. They can help entrepreneurs craft a winning strategy and find the resources they need to be successful.”
REDC’s Entrepreneurship Committee recruited and coached DiTursi, Rochele, and Grinbergs for the event.
“This event offers us a framework to help entrepreneurs in Rutland County bring their ideas to market,” said committee chair John Casella II of Casella Construction. “The committee held working sessions with each business owner to help them build a plan with the detail required to secure the investments they need to launch. We believe these activities are a small piece of a larger plan within REDC and Rutland County that will serve a growing, vibrant economy, and will offer us economic and social prosperity.”
Business advisor Brian DeClue of the Vermont Small Business Development Center is co-located with REDC and served on the committee.
“I’ve worked with each of the pitchers this year, and I think we have a strong group,” DeClue said. “The business ideas are quite different and are at different stages of their startup curve. I see a lot of potential in their plans. We could be looking at three successful business launches or expansions coming out of this event. It is a wonderful opportunity for potential business owners to practice pitching their idea in front of a group of investors, which will helps build confidence and self-efficacy.”
The Rutland stop will include the pitch event, which is open to the public, and a private reception during which the pitch contestants can continue to discuss their business ideas with the Road Pitch riders and other local business leaders.
“This is a celebration of Rutland’s entrepreneurial spirit,” Jepson said. “With an outpouring of volunteer assistance from business leaders, REDC has created a strong support network intended to help people succeed. Hosting the Road Pitch is one example of that network in action.”
Key Bank, People’s United Bank, Ann Clark Cookie Cutters, Castleton University, and REDC sponsored the event with support from the Rutland Free Library, Downtown Rutland Partnership, Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce, Rutland Redevelopment Authority, Best Western Inn & Suites, Mendon, Hop’n Moose Brewing Company, and Rutland Young Professionals.
Jepson thanked REDC Entrepreneurship Committee volunteers John Casella II, Peter Amons, Mike Coppinger, Brian DeClue, Brennan Duffy, Collin Fingon, Rick Gile, Tara Kelly, Bernard Krasnoff for their contributions to the event.
People interested in attending the pitch event can learn more at www.rutlandeconomy.com/events.