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BEDC Rocket Pitch winners announced

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Ahmani Peets: winner of the BEDC’s Youth Pitch competition (Photograph supplied)

The Bermuda Economic Development Corporation has announced the winners of its 12th annual Rocket Pitch competition.Participants pitched their businesses before a panel of judges in the hopes of winning a share of $25,000 in cash and services. Pitchers had five minutes to tell the story of their business, and then respond to questions.Ranging from transportation apps to a vegan butter alternative, businesses pitched in five categories including Pitch Pink — a category geared towards tourism focused solutions — Pitch Tech, Pitch Town — businesses with the local community in mind — and Pitch Green. Two Youth Pitch finalists also pitched their businesses after they advanced from the Youth Pitch preliminaries that saw nine students ranging in age from 13 to 16 vie for a spot at the Rocket Pitch finals.The winners, by category were:Youth Pitch: Sponsored by the Ministry of Labour, Community Affairs & Sports. First: Ahmani’s Cookie Company, a homemade cookie empire made by Ahmani Peets. Second: Moov App, developed by Zaire Lodge and Greg Nwangi of Somersfield Academy, an app that offers a solution to Bermuda’s public and private transportation system.Pitch Tech: Sponsored by the Department of ICT Policy and Innovation. First: DropIt Delivery, Carl Vincent and Leanne Evans. DropIt.bm is a marketplace that showcases local grocery stores and local products. Second: NAB App, Danielle Paynter, local shopping, redefined. If a brand is sold somewhere on-island, we can tell you where. Pitch Pink: Sponsored by the Bermuda Tourism Authority. First: Elevate Host Services, Taylor and Thoshlae Williams, a worry-free, full-service solution to Airbnb management. Second: Bermuda Bonfires, David Thomas. Bermuda Bonfires strives to provide a stress-free bonfire experience by delivering a superior product and unparalleled customer service. Pitch Green: Sponsored by the BEDC and Butterfield Bank. First: Better Butter, Alyson Thompson. A plant-based vegan butter alternative that looks, tastes and acts like butter but it’s better for you. Second: Agra Living, Chris Faria, an eco-friendly solution that empowers individuals through sustainable farming educational experiences that help to improve food security in Bermuda.Pitch Town: Sponsored by Deloitte and Strata-G Agency. First: Bermuda Child Care, Antonia Holder and Deshae Grant. Bermuda Child Care or childcare.bm is a comprehensive, multifunctional, digital solution for Bermuda’s early childcare industry. Second: Unfurnished, Christina Musson, a furnishing business with individual bedroom and living room furnishings available for rent, with a rent-to-own option.Successful pitchers won $5,000 for first place, and $1,000 for second, plus a start-up services package, sponsored by local businesses. The service package includes business coaching by Transform Bermuda, a discounted photoshoot by Into Bermuda, marketing services by Inspired, accounting services by Quantifi, a gift bag by Walkers Global and discounted web development by Keeon Minors. Kelsea Williams, communications and development officer at the BEDC, said: “It was really inspiring to see the calibre of the pitches that were submitted this year. The judges had a hard time selecting the winners and the audience was so engaged in the experience.”She added: “This was only the third year that we’ve introduced a youth category and the first and second place format. This way, everyone is a winner. The Rocket Pitch continues to be a great event and in this twelvth year of the competition the BEDC remains encouraged for the future of entrepreneurship.”• For more information about the Rocket Pitch finals, visit www.gew.bm

Chris Faria: winner of the BEDC’s Pitch Green competition (Photograph supplied)
David Thomas, at left: winner of the BEDC’s Pitch Pink competition (Photograph supplied)
Antonia Holder: winner of the BEDC’s Pitch Town competition (Photograph supplied)
Danielle Paynter: winner of the BEDC’s Pitch Tech competition (Photograph supplied)