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The third annual FreshTracks Road Pitch will take place from Monday August 1st through Friday August 5th with motorcycle riders hitting the roads of Vermont and stopping in 10 towns to listen to at least 50 entrepreneurial pitches.

FreshTracks’ Road Pitch sends Business Bikers on the Road for a 4-day road trip across Vermont in search of the best and brightest entrepreneurs across the state. The Road Warriors hold office hours in select towns across the Green Mountains, pit stopping in barns, train stations and inns to solicit pitches from teams of entrepreneurs seeking advice and capital.
The riders will award a $500 Riders’ Choice Prize plus a Vermont Teddy Bear “biker bear” to one pitcher in each of the ten communities. Each stop is open to public viewing. In October, the top presenters from each event will be invited to present one last time with $4,000 being awarded to the top presenter. 
"Community National Bank is proud to be the Presenting Sponsor of Central Vermont Road Pitch and BarnPitch2016 because we realize small and moderately sized businesses are the backbone of our state’s economy,” stated Stephen P. Marsh, CEO, Community National Bank. “Supporting start-up and early-stage companies is integral to the development of business growth throughout our communities; it’s our responsibility to assist with business growth and development. It’s a privilege for Community National Bank’s Lenders to meet and listen to our current and future business leaders, and we appreciate the opportunity to offer financing options and to share any other knowledge or available resources with them.”

Wednesday, August 3, 2016 Community National Bank Sponsors RoadPitch in Barre
One way the Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce helps to grow the regional economy is by supporting small businesses, particularly entrepreneurs. The Chamber has joined with Community National Bank, Barre Area Development, The Barre Partnership, the Center for Leadership Skills and the Orton Family Foundation to serve on the Steering Committee of the Central Vermont Road Pitch.
The Road Pitch is an exciting event coming to the Vermont Granite Museum in Barre at 11:00am on August 3rd. Think of it as our version of “Shark Tank.” Several entrepreneurs have applied for the opportunity to make a “pitch” about their product to venture capitalists and angel funders from Vermont.
There will be five “pitchers” at the Barre event, all with exciting projects. The Steering Committee has partnered these entrepreneurs with “coaches” who will help them to fine-tune their presentations. Dona Bate from dbate Speaking will provide feedback to help the presenters hone their presentations into crisp, winning pitches. The products and ideas that will be “pitched” include:  

  • GoHydro which focuses on modular production to make the development of low-head hydro sites affordable by reducing soft costs and civil works. Jeff Blow from Jet Envelope is coaching Lori Barg.
  • Liz Lovely, Inc. develops, manufactures, and distributes premium-priced, all natural gluten free & vegan non-GMO cookies. John Underwood from The Inn at Montpelier is coaching Liz Holtz (who has presented on “Shark Tank”).
  • Immersive Technology Studios seeks to “Bring Education to Life” by providing students realistic, interactive, and immersive virtual reality experiences. Barre Mayor and developer Tom Lauzon is coaching Andy Glover.
  • Mad River Woolery is a cottage industry fiber mill. Skip Poczobut from People’s United Bank is coaching Susan Snider.
  • Minnoe is a tool to engage students and parents in academics and the school community. Lindel James from the Center for Leadership Skills is coaching Sonya Spaulding.

In a team briefing, Charlie Ininger from the Small Business Development Center and a FreshTracks Road Pitch veteran presented guidance for the “pitchers.” The key to the presentations, according to Mr. Ininger is, “You know the product best. Own it!” 
Locally, the event is being sponsored by Community National Bank (Presenting Sponsor), Barre Area Development, the Barre Partnership, The Bridge, The Center for Leadership Skills, The Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce, JET Envelope, Northfield Savings Bank, Times Argus, and The World. Statewide sponsors include the Vermont Department of Economic Development, Key Bank, Gallagher, Flynn & Co., and the Vermont Small Business Development Center. 
Thursday, August 4, 2016 Community National Bank Sponsors BarnPitch2016 in Lowell
Community National Bank BarnPitch2016 is the eighth stop of the 3rd Annual FreshTracks Capital Road Pitch. Each stop is open to public viewing. BarnPitch2016 takes place on Thursday, August 4th from 2pm – 4pm, at Kingdom Commons in Lowell, VT.

“We know that Vermont is rich in unique entrepreneurs and we want to help them,” said Cairn Cross, RoadPitch founder and Co-Founder of FreshTracks Capital. “This is a great way for entrepreneurs to establish their brand, idea, credentials, and reputation in Vermont.”

“NEKTI Consulting is bringing together some of the area's entrepreneurs in a way that gives them the opportunity to share their plans, to enhance their business performance, create jobs and improve their communities,” said Steven L. Mason, COO, NEKTI Consulting. "This event also gives us a chance to promote Vermont as an excellent motorcycle-touring destination."

A sampling of the expertise that Road Pitch “business bikers” bring to Community National Bank BarnPitch2016 includes: Co-Founder of FreshTracks Capital, Consultant/Photographer/Entrepreneur, CEO Burlington Bytes, Software Development and Photography, Director of BYOBiz Program/Champlain College, Enterprise Turn-Around Specialist, Social Media Director Vermont Teddy Bear, Co-Founder Social Sentinel, Co-Founder, Granite State Investment Advisors, Owner of Clute Financial, Professor at Stiller School of Business at Champlain College, Founder Dynapower, COO April Cornell, Owner Dirty Old Biker, Business Advisor VT Small Business Development Center, Owner Mondo Media Works, Retired SVP LGC Standards, Consultant Entrepreneur, Co-Founder Champlain Mini Makers Faire, Secretary Vermont Agency of Transportation, Attorney/Dinse Knapp and McAndrew, CEO Semiprobe, Portfolio Manager and Financial Advisor and Founder of Small Dog Electronics.

Participants delivering their seven-minute pitch to these business experts at BarnPitch2016 include: Tara Lynn Designs, Sumptuous Syrups, Maple Hill, New England Wireless, and The Hive.

Jamie Griffith and Alan Van Anda founders and co-brewmasters of Lost Nation Brewery, in Morrisville, VT went to Community National Bank when they decided to create a brewery to produce honest small-batch beer. Now, they have the brewery, a taproom and a biergarten during the summer. “We have more projects in the works and the first place we’ll turn to is Community National Bank,” said Van Anda.

Joining Community National Bank are 10 partners who are Hayloft Sponsors: NVDA (Northeastern Vermont Development Association), The Flexible Capital Fund, Vermont Agency for Agriculture, Food & Markets, North Country Career Center, FairPoint Communications, Jay Area Chamber of Commerce, Vermont Department of Labor, Green Mountain Power, VTrans, The Center for an Agricultural Economy, and Insuring Vermont. Another partner, The Art of the Carve, a Lowell-based business, will contribute a chainsaw sculpture for the ‘2016 BarnPitch People’s Choice Award’, the famous Cajun's Snack Bar, in Lowell, will cater the reception, and Sanville Sound Systems will provide their famous custom-made “Birdhouse” speakers for the best sound in the barn. Opportunities Credit Union is the sponsor of the reception. “Opportunities Credit Union (OCU) has a long track record of supporting Vermont’s entrepreneurs through affordable Small Business Loans and support for programs and events,” stated Greg Huysman, OCU’s Senior Business Development Manager. “BarnPitch2016 is the perfect fit for OCU’s community development efforts to increase exposure and access to capital for Vermont’s small and growing businesses.”

 “We know that Vermont is rich in unique entrepreneurs and we want to help them,” said Cross. “This is a great way for entrepreneurs to establish their brand, idea, credentials, and reputation in Vermont.”