The Vermont Products Pitch is a product innovation competition that challenges UVM students to come up with a new product around a specific theme. This year's competition focuses on dairy, meaning the product must incorporate cow, sheep or goat dairy ingredients. Competing as individuals or in teams, students will be challenged to create the next innovative product that uses dairy as a primary ingredient. From idea conception, to product development, label and packaging design, marketing, and production, students will find out what it takes to bring a new product to market. The competition culminates in a trade show-style final pitch event on April 24, 2020 where teams will compete in front of judges for cash prizes.
The Vermont dairy industry continues to evolve as the number of dairy farms in the state decline, yet the number of cows in Vermont and milk produced is steady. These farms are critical to our working landscape and valued by both Vermonters and visitors to the state. Vermont dairy products have been recognized worldwide, including cheeses from cows, goats, and sheep. There are many value-added specialty foods that use dairy as a primary ingredient, such as butter, cottage cheese, sour cream, yogurt, ice cream, and cream cheese. There are also innovative pet foods and other non-food products that use whey and other dairy ingredients. This competition challenges students to think outside the box to identify new opportunities for dairy ingredients.
How It Works
Throughout the fall semester, teams will have access to workshops and mentorship as they develop their project proposals (see guidelines below). The top 10-15 teams will be selected to continue the development of their products in Spring 2020. Each team will receive a $500 budget and mentorship to develop their products. Teams will present their final products at the 2020 Vermont Products Pitch event in Livak Ballroom in UVM's Davis Center on April 24, 2020.