Last summer, a group of Vermont business investors and advisors went on a motorcycle tour of the state to hear pitches from entrepreneurs – like a Green Mountain version of television's Shark Tank. This August they're doing it again.
For the second annual FreshTracks Road Pitch a group of investors, entrepreneurs and business advisors will spend four days riding around Vermont and plan to hear 45 pitches at eight stops along the way.
While Shark Tank has investors offering big money for a share of the entrepreneurs' businesses, Road Pitch does things on a more Vermont scale. The business riders "provide advice, connect the entrepreneurs with resources where appropriate, and occasionally make an investment in a business opportunity," according to promotional materials. And, new this year, one pitcher at each location will be awarded a Riders' Choice Prize of $450 and a biker bear from the Vermont Teddy Bear Co.
The tour starts Monday, Aug. 3 with stops at Green Mountain Harley Davidson, in Essex Junction, and Bennington College, in Bennington. Tuesday the tour swings by the Strolling of the Heifers, in Brattleboro, and the Castleton Center for Entrepreneurship, in Rutland. On Wednesday the tour heads to Vermont Technical College, in Randolph, then on up to a “barn pitch” in Lowell. Thursday morning the road pitch goes to the Charlemont Restaurant, in Morrisville, then on to Grand Isle for the final pitch session at Snow Farm Vineyard.
Entrepreneurs who want to schedule a pitch should contact the local coordinator for a specific pitch session.
Road Pitch was started last year by Cairn Cross, co-founder of FreshTracks Capital. “I gathered together close to 30 other founding riders during 2014” Cross said in a press release, “and we proved the Road Pitch concept by riding 500 miles through Vermont stopping in various towns and listening to more than 30 pitches.”
This year more sponsors have jumped onboard, and Lt. Gov. Phil Scott will make opening remarks before the bikers hit the road.