The School of Business Administration will celebrate and honor entrepreneurs and family enterprises with a Business Pitch Competition and the 1st annual Family Business Awards on Saturday, October 6.

The Business Pitch Competition, hosted by the Entrepreneurship Club, will feature four student business ideas, competing for $3,000 in cash, various in-kind services for their business idea and a free entry to compete in the MassChallenge, a $1 million global accelerator program and startup competition.  The four student businesses are: 

·      Community Roots – an urban edible landscape business pitched by Dave Manago, an environmental studies major/business minor

·      KA-POW – an online coupon aggregator pitched by Abigail Beck, a 2012 School of Business Administration graduate

·      Doorack – a new storage system for ski and snowboards pitched by Max Ebenstein, a parks and recreation major

·      Cloud9 TreeWalks – aims to bring a popular model of ecotourism to the U.S., pitched by Graham Phelps and Asher Thompson, both parks and recreation majors 

The competition will start at 1 p.m. in the Livak Ballroom of the Davis Center.  

The 1st annual Family Business Awards will recognize and celebrate University of Vermont alumni’s family owned businesses that have demonstrated a commitment to creating sustainable business through leadership and innovation. 

Businesses will be recognized in the following categories:

·      1st Gen: UVM Founder led firms with multiple family members in ownership or operations.

·      Multi-Gen – US based: having completed at least one generational transfer within the family; ownership by UVM alumni.

·      Vermont Legacy Achievement Award – a Vermont based family business recognized for outstanding and long lasting success.  Ownership by UVM alumni is not required to be considered for this award.

Businesses will be judged on the financial success of the company, governance structures in family and in business contributions to the community and industry, and innovative business practices or strategies.

The award celebration will begin at 4 p.m. in the Livak Ballroom.  All are invited. 


Elizabeth L. Parent