Entrepreneurship Expo

Congratulations Ruggette!

Isabel Adler ’21, Lily Hogan ’21,
winners of the 2018 Business Pitch Competition


Watch Their Pitch

Entrepreneurial Expo Colby’s Entrepreneurship Expo is the culmination of a year’s worth of entrepreneurship programming, complete with lectures, Jan Plan courses, and workshops, and provides students who enter the pitch competition with the experts, mentors, and resources to turn their ideas into full-fledged businesses.

This year a record 18 teams entered the expo’s annual business pitch competition, a marker of an exploding enterpreneurial spirit on campus.

Nine teams, comprised of 25 students, made it into the finals. They will vie for prizes of up to $15,000, as well as two Christian Forman ’92 Innovation Awards, which provide $4,000 in professional marketing services with a San Francisco firm. This year the audience will also have a chance to vote for their favorite pitch team with a $1,000 Audience Choice Award.

Teams who didn’t make the finals are still eligible for the expo’s “Idea Pitch Competition” to get experience pitching before judges and possibly win valuable prizes and access to work on their business idea in Colby’s new downtown incubator.

The expo begins with keynote speaker Scott Brady P’20, a serial entrepreneur and lecturer at Stanford Graduate School of Business. It continues with a panel of Maine entrepreneurs, an opportunity for Colby students to pitch ideas to a guest panel, a dinner, and a networking event. The business pitch competition caps everything off. And while the judges deliberate, past contestants will update the crowd on where their businesses are today.


The expo is grateful for the support from Colby alumni, parents, and friends who have served as mentors, judges, and pitch reviewers. The expo also wishes to thank the four members of the Theater and Dance community — Fatimah Ali ’19, Braxton Braxton ’21, Christian Papadellis ’18, and Lucy Soucek ’18 — who helped teams work on the performative aspects of pitching.

The Expo would also like to thank its corporate sponsor, GHM Insurance of Waterville.

Watch the 2018 Business Pitch Competition:

Meet the Teams

Team Detox & Balance

Team Name: Detox & Balance

Pitch: A platform, product, and program that remedies the negative bingeing behaviors caused by modern society. We aim to close the gap between talk and action, engaging individuals in new sustainable habits and behaviors through our organic detox kits.

Team Name: gnosi

Pitch: An internal team-communication platform that focuses on managing ideas and knowledge more effectively through converting noisy conversations into clean data and maximizing people’s memory retention by visualizing the saved information. Our service helps teams generate ideas, research, and learn more effectively.

Alex Rhodes

Team Name: Musician Marketplace

Pitch: A simple online database displaying musicians’, bands’, or DJs’ musical resumés in order to connect them with gigs. Note: Lawrence Dickey ’18 is not pictured.

Team Name: Pulse

Pitch: A smartphone app that allows partygoers to request and vote on songs and know what music is playing at other venues. The app creates an interactive party experience while letting users know where to go next. Additionally, DJs can use Pulse to build their set lists, and venues can use it to understand their customers and plan future events.

Team Rost

Team Name: Röst

Pitch: Röst is the first commercially available coffee wine that uses locally sourced coffee roasts to provide a bold new product that provides both a boost of energy and a relaxing effect. Initially it will be an upscale wine and brandy for urban professionals with plans to expand the product line to a mass-market canned beverage as the brand grows.

Team Ruggette

Team Name: Ruggette

Pitch: An all-women’s outdoor clothing and gear company that takes rugged women seriously. We design apparel to perfectly fit active women of all shapes and sizes, use environmentally sustainable materials, and make products in a wide variety of colors.

Team School International -- Hongyong photo

Team Name: School International

Pitch: An online platform to help prospective international students gain a more comprehensive understanding of American colleges and culture through direct video conversations with school representatives before applying to schools.

Team Name: Text for Relief

Pitch: Open-source web application that allows for individuals to text their zip code and receive the nearest hurricane shelter during a time of distress. Aimed at municipalities frequently hit by hurricanes.

Team OBA photo

Team Name: OBA

Pitch: OBA (Our Best Assets) is a SaaS company that develops interactive alumni-relations tools to honor organization’s best assets—their distinguished alumni. Our flagship product is a touch-based interactive “hall of fame” interface for use in schools and athletic centers.

Meet the Judges

Andrey AntovAndrey Antov is program director of the Maine Cancer Genomics Initiative at The Jackson Laboratory, where he is leading an effort to bring world-class cancer care to patients in Maine by leveraging the strengths of key medical and bioscience research institutions focused on precision cancer diagnostics and treatment. Antov received his M.Sc./M.Phil. in biological and biomedical sciences/immunology, his Ph.D. in immunology, and his M.B.A. in strategy and marketing from Yale University.

Mike DuguayMike Duguay is the executive director of the Harold Alfond Institute for Business Innovation at Thomas College. The institute was created to provide a suite of resources and programming that students, entrepreneurs, and businesses can access in order to take their skills and productivity to the next level. He received a B.A. in political science and community development from the University of New Hampshire.

Dominic Endicott Dominic Endicott P’18 is a general partner at Nauta Capital, a global VC with operations in Boston, London, and Barcelona focused on early-stage investing in vertical markets subject to disruption. Prior to Nauta, Endicott worked at Boston Consulting Group and Monitor and then participated in the creation of Cluster Consulting, a European start-up focused on deploying mobile operations in more than 40 countries. He is a member of the boards of Great Call (Jitterbug), CarrierIQ, MobileAware, Eyeview, Airsense Wireless, InCrowd, TapTap, and Campus Global, as well as Rifiniti. He received his M.B.A. from the Sloan School at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a B.S. in economics from the London School of Economics.

Peter HenigPete Henig is founder and managing partner at Greenhouse Capital Partners LP, founded in 2006. He also serves as adjunct professor in product development at Dominican University. Henig earned his B.A. in economics and theology from Georgetown University and M.A. in public policy analysis from Stanford University.

Mark Johnson ’96 is an active entrepreneur now creating, investing in, consulting, and advising digital products and businesses through Attic Ventures, which he founded. Previously, he founded SFO*MEDIA, a travel-related company, which was acquired by Condé Nast in 2008. His travel publications have been featured in TIME, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, on the BBC, The Today Show, and many others. He earned a B.A. in history at Colby in 1996.

Jen MillardJen Milsop Millard ’90 is vice president of business development/retail operations at Nomadic VR, an immersive entertainment company creating tactile VR adventures for neighborhoods everywhere. She also serves as managing partner at Retail Growth Partners LLC. She earned her B.A. in American studies at Colby and attended Stanford University’s D-School.

Mike SobolMike Sobol is a senior business strategist at Freeport Metrics, specializing in designing and developing software-driven solutions to challenging problems. He earned his B.A. in philosophy and psychology from Franklin & Marshall College.

Tom WildeTom Wilde ’89 is CEO of Indico Data, which has developed a state-of-the-art enterprise deep-learning platform for text and image analysis that can be deployed in the cloud or on premise and utilized via a simple-to-use web service. He earned his B.A. in American studies from Colby and an M.B.A. in strategic management from Wharton.

Expo Volunteers

Mary Biggins ’05
Mark Boles ’92
Peter Bowden ’98
Matthew Boyes-Watson ’12
Matt Burgener ’97
John Burns
Brent Delehey
Said Eastman ’90
Tim Geishenheimer ’06
Bill Getty ’01
Cici Bevin Gordon ’85
Eric Holstein ’08
Jonathan Kalin ’14
Gretchen Kruysman
Nancy Marshall ’82, P’15
Derek Myska
James O’Brien ’12
Jon Olinto ’98
Luke Penney ’97
Ethan Platt ’96
Brandon Pollock ’10
Maddie Purcell ’12
Ashley Reid ’02
Mike Remondi ’17
Gary Rogers ’81
Arjun Sahgal ’16
Bill Sheehan ’84
Raleigh Werner ’11
Cole Yaverbaum ’14

Jack Blackburn P’17
Linwood Downs ’83
Jeff Rothschild P’16
James Satloff P’15, ’19

Reilly Kons (Sponsor)
Nancy Marshall ’82, P’15
Luke Penney ’97