Over 100 people gathered at the Rutland Free Library for the Rutland stop of the annual Road Pitch on August 1, 2017. The Rutland stop was hosted by Rutland Economic Development Corporation (REDC).
Three Rutland-area businesses pitched their ideas during the event as part of the FreshTracks Capital Road Pitch, a multi-day motorcycle tour that brings riders with investing and business advisory experience to towns around Vermont to hear from local entrepreneurs. The Rutland event was sponsored by Castleton University, Rutland Free Library, Berkshire Bank, Ryan Smith & Carbine, Ann Clark Cookie Cutters, KeyBank, and NBT Bank.
REDC worked with a dozen area businesses to identify the final three presenters. BalanceWorks, a custom foot orthotics business, pitched their development of cutting-edge 3-D printing technology to streamline production and delivery of custom orthotics. SoundPlum, a new startup, presented their online service for musicians that processes digital audio recordings through high-end analog equipment to enhance sound quality. Fire Technologies International presented their AccuTrol System, which brings computerized automated control to the water systems of a firetruck to increase safety and efficiency. Fire Technologies International was chosen as the winner of the event and will present at the final statewide “Pitch-Off” held at Champlain College this fall.
SoundPlum and Fire Technologies International are building equipment and prototyping products using shared equipment at The MINT – Rutland’s Makerspace.
“We are thrilled to see our pitch teams using shared resources at The MINT, Rutland’s new makerspace,” said Lyle Jepson, Castleton University’s Dean of Entrepreneurial Programs and Executive Director of REDC. “Seeing emerging and growing businesses draw on the expertise of their peers and fellow problem-solvers at The MINT shows that Rutland’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is a robust and exciting community. We can’t wait to see how The MINT helps this community grow.”
The event was capped off by a surprise presentation by the RoboRattlers, a group of 9 to 14 year-olds who won the Vermont statewide Lego robotics competition in 2016 and competed in a worldwide championship against other teams of young inventors in spring 2017. The RoboRattlers pitched an improved version of their winning product, the Breeze N’ Leave, a pet safety device.
Jepson said, “REDC is working hard to build a thriving economy for our future. These kids are our future. We want to get them involved in things like the Road Pitch and The MINT early on, and help them to create the community they want to see.”
The MINT – Rutland’s Makerspace will be holding their Grand Opening on Saturday, August 12th, at 12:00 PM during the Rutland Mini-Maker Faire at 112 Quality Lane in Rutland. For more information on The MINT, go to www.rutlandmint.org.