Finalists announced!

Five finalists will vie for the Seacoast Start Up grand prize on Nov. 2!

The City of Rochester is excited to announce the five finalists for our 4th annual Seacoast Start Up Competition. 

There was some fierce competition this year and we received a total of 19 applications, all with exciting business venture plans. After carefully reading through each application the judges made their decision and have asked the following five applicants to join the “Shark Tank” style competition next Wednesday night, November 2 at the Frisbie Hospital Conference Center, 11 Whitehall Road in Rochester, NH.

All five applicants have enthusiastically agreed to attend and present at the event which is open to the public. Refreshments will be provided.

Here are our five finalists:

 

  • Awato: An online platform that automates quality academic and career counseling for colleges. It helps people identify and pursue careers they’d love. The system uses a patent pending method to quickly assess people’s interest, aptitudes, education, experience, and personality and match them with either majors or careers, or both. It then provides users with a customized roadmap for how to achieve their goals, stop by step. It also includes a country-wide job board, resumé builder and online portfolio feature so students can manage their entire career experience in one place.

 

  • GeoQuiz: An interactive trivia game based on geotagged points of interest. The goal is to engage family and friends during travel anytime, anywhere and support interaction and camaraderie on long trips. GeoQuiz encourages having fun while learning about new things around you during transit and provides the opportunity to recognize when there are hidden and unique things, and points of interest that may be worth a detour.

 

  • Hive Battery: Improved manufacturing process technologies that reduce the cost of lithium ion batteries. In the final steps of manufacturing, a battery undergoes the time and capital-intensive steps of cell formation and end of line testing. During formation, each lithium ion cell is slowly charged and discharged to facilitate key reactions within the cell, reactions that will determine the eventual performance and degradation of the battery. Hive Battery’s core technology of diagnostics align with the manufacturing process and provide cell manufacturers with the tools they need to develop new and innovative methods during the formation step.

 

  • Popzup: A new ways to pop, season and snack popcorn that’s naturally delicious. The company's mission is to develop a complete line of branded popcorn products that provide consumers convenient options to have popcorn how and when they want and to know exactly what is on their favorite snack. Products include the Popzup Popper, Popcorn Seasonings and K-Pouches. Popzup Popper is a totally new way to microwave air pop popcorn without chemicals or plastic. Popzup Popcorn Seasonings have clean labels providing popcorn lovers with sweet, savory, & spicy blends to satisfy any mood. Popzup K-Pouches (soon to be launched) are convenient single batch popcorn kernel pouches for stovetop and hot air popping. All Popzup Brand Products are non-GMO and gluten free and made in the company's Dover NH Popzup Factory.

 

  • Trigger Devils: Attachable trigger stops that allowgamers to shoot "insanely fast" by cutting wasted space out of each trigger pull in first. The devices clip on and are ready to go.

We are pleased to have the following distinguished local professionals on our 2016 Start Up judges panel: Lori Smart, president at Smart ATI and Smart ATI Construction; Michael O’Laughlin, vice president operations at Lydall; and Jonathan Shapleigh, vice president of commercial banking at Bank of New Hampshire.

 

See you there!

 

PickUp Patrol is the 2015 Seacoast NH Start-Up winner!

Student-founded start-up takes home top prize, and People’s Choice at 3rd annual start-up competition

ROCHESTER, November 6, 2015 – A well-orchestrated presentation by a team of teenage entrepreneurs sealed a double win for 2015 Seacoast NH Start-Up contestant PickUp Patrol. Thursday night, November 5 at the Frisbie Memorial Hospital Conference Center.

The Nashua-based company, which entered its app that streamlines interactions regarding pick ups, early dismissals and other requisite communications, took home both the grand prize and People’s Choice award at the third annual new business competition. The prize package included $10,000 in cash and $30,000 in in-kind services among them, one year of rent-free office space in Rochester, an interest-free loan, a one-year membership in the Rochester Chamber of Commerce, and legal and other business services.

Teenagers Brian Apple and Tony Edvalson, two of the three of the young company’s founders began and ended their presentation with the rallying cry, “No more notes!” and proceeded to explain the market niche their app seeks to fill: an easier way for schools to keep track of students’ end of day plans than the old system of hand-written notes from parents “Tracking all those changes is stressful, and it takes a school office staff one to three hours each day . . . That’s about $6,000 annually that our schools are devoting to managing what students are doing after they leave the building,” Apple and Edvalson told the Start-Up panel of judges and an audience of approximately 100.

Audience members, who cast their votes with poker chips during the competition intermission, were also dazzled by the PickUp Patrol team’s business plan that detailed a national market with 104,000 kindergarten through eighth-grade schools and potential annual revenue of $104 million. Apple and Edvalson, students at the Academy for Science and Design public charter school in Nashua, were joined in accepting the two awards by their fellow team student and adult members: co-founder and fellow student Rylee Noorda (Online Media); Maria Edvalson (CEO); Daniel Brackett (Chief Technology Officer); Eric Edvalson (Chief Architect); Candee Noorda (VP Sales & Marketing); Renee Dickson (Sales Director) and Cath Edvalson (Online Marketing).

The other four finalists included: Adasko Enterprises LLC, which is developing a prototype for a new barbecue tool;  EasyImpact, an app to reduce municipal management costs and promote local economic development; Ready to Relo, an app to connect businesses to identify and hire talent across regional borders; and Vera Roasting Company, a company marketing coffee with a heart-healthy additive. All five finalists are business start-ups based in the state of New Hampshire as the rules require.  

“We had 30 truly excellent entries this year, and these five finalists were the cream of the crop,” said Rochester NH Economic Development Manager Karen Pollard. Rochester’s Economic Development Council and Alpha Loft, a non-profit co-working space and business incubator with locations in Durham, Manchester and Portsmouth, founded the event in 2013 and have held the event each year since.

“There is a remarkable creative spirit and drive to innovate in New Hampshire’s business community,” said Mark Kaplan of Alpha Loft. “This competition recognizes and rewards that. We hope that seeing what other individuals and teams are achieving will encourage other New Hampshire residents to develop new ideas and approaches to solving problems that people face every day.”

The five judges were: Jonathan Shapleigh, VP Commercial Banker, Bank of New Hampshire; Joel Robinson, CEO, Vid Fall & 2014 Start-Up Winner; Michael O’Laughlin, Vice President of Operations, Lydall Performance Materials, Inc.; Sean Peschel, Director of Career Technical Education, RW Creteau Tech; and Lori Smart, CEO, Smart ATI Construction.

Seacoast Start-Up 2015 is organized by the Rochester Department of Community & Economic Development and the Alpha Loft, based in Portsmouth, Manchester and Durham. Bank of New Hampshire, with offices throughout the Seacoast region, is the presenting sponsor. Other sponsors include Albany International; Great Bay Community College; Liberty Mutual Insurance; Lydall; SmartATI Construction; Shaheen, Gordon, P.A.; and Agagnost Companies.  Dumont Property Group, Leone, McDonnell & Roberts and Rochester Chamber of Commerce are some of the in-kind sponsors. For more information, contact the Rochester Division of Community & Economic Development, 603-335-7522 or visit www.seacoastnhstartup.com.

For more information, contact the Rochester Office of Economic Development, 603-335-7522.

 

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Seacoast NH Start-Up announces finalists

Seacoast NH Start-Up announces finalists

Five fledgling businesses move on to final round of business competition. Public invited to cheer on competitors at final judging event Thursday, November 5

ROCHESTER, NH – Organizers of Seacoast NH Start-Up 2015 have announced the five finalists that will vie for a $25,000 prize package of cash and in-kind services on Thursday, November 5. The finalists are: Adasko Enterprises LLC, EasyImpact, PickUp Patrol, Ready to Relo and Vera Roasting Company.

The businesses were chosen from a field of more than 30 entries submitted, and the winner will chosen at a Shark Tank-style event at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, November 5 at the Frisbie Memorial Hospital Conference / Education Center, 11 Whitehall Road in Rochester. The public is invited to attend and cheer on the contestants; reservations are available at bit.ly/Start-Up-15-Eventbrite. The winning start-up or business plan will receive a prize package that includes cash and in-kind services valued at $25,000 or more.

“This is a strong group of competitors this year, and the products and concepts they are pitching really cover the gamut,” said Karen Pollard, manager of Rochester NH Economic Development. The 2015 competitors will make pitches for a range of business ideas from a household product for grilling enthusiasts and a health beverage for coffee lovers to apps to keep kids safe, help match employers with new talent and increase local business investments.

This is the third year that Rochester has hosted the event. It was founded to draw attention to the strong growth potential and supportive business environment of New Hampshire’s Seacoast region.

Seacoast Start-Up 2015 is organized by the Rochester Department of Community & Economic Development and the Alpha Loft, based in Portsmouth, Manchester and Durham. Bank of New Hampshire, with offices throughout the Seacoast region, is the presenting sponsor. Other sponsors include Albany International; Great Bay Community College; Liberty Mutual Insurance; Lydall; SmartATI Construction; Shaheen, Gordon, P.A.; and Agagnost Companies.  Dumont Property Group, Leone, McDonnell & Roberts and Rochester Chamber of Commerce are some of the in-kind sponsors. For more information, contact the Rochester Division of Community & Economic Development, 603-335-7522 or visit www.seacoastnhstartup.com   

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Public invited to cheer on Seacoast Start-Up 2015 finalists Nov. 5

Contestants will face off for $25,000 prize package at ‘live’ event

ROCHESTER, NH – The finalist round of Seacoast NH Start-Up 2015, a competition for New Hampshire business start-ups and would-be entrepreneurs, will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 5th at the Frisbie Memorial Hospital Conference/Education Center, 11 Whitehall Road in Rochester. The public is invited to attend and cheer on the contestants.

 This is the third year the city of Rochester has hosted the Shark Tank-style final judging, and the evening promises to be entertaining.

“Being there in the audience when the contestants are making their pitches and the judges are asking tough questions is a great way to connect with the entrepreneurial boom taking place in Seacoast New Hampshire. There are some intriguing business ideas among this year’s entrants, and the public gets to share in that excitement,” said Karen Pollard, economic development manager for the City of Rochester.

This year, seven finalists will vie for a prize package of cash and in-kind services that add up to more than $25,000 – plus positive exposure in the Seacoast region’s business community. The winner of the 2014 contest, Joel Robinson of VidFall, has credited the contest with giving his fledgling auction web site valuable input before its launch last year. Robinson will be on the panel of Start-Up 2015 judges.

To register to attend the event, please sign up at bit.ly/Start-Up-15-Eventbrite.

Seacoast NH Start-Up 2015 is organized by the Rochester Department of Community & Economic Development and the Alpha Loft, based in Portsmouth, Manchester and Durham. Bank of New Hampshire, with offices throughout the Seacoast region, is the presenting sponsor. Other sponsors include Albany International, Great Bay Community College, Lydall and SmartATI Construction. For more information, contact the Rochester Division of Community & Economic Development, 603-335-7522 or visit http://www.seacoastnhstartup.com/

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Seacoast START-UP deadline extended

Organizers will accept entries from start-up businesses until the end of business day October 16

ROCHESTER, NH – Organizers of Seacoast NH Start-Up 2015 are giving new businesses an extra week to enter the third annual regional new business competition.  Entries will be accepted through the end of the business day on Friday, October 16.

“We’re in our third year, and we’ve had a lot of interest so far, but we’d like everyone a bit more time to pull their entries together,” said Karen Pollard, economic development manager for the City of Rochester

Start-Up 2014 is open to for-profit businesses with an innovative idea and less than five years in operation. Organizers want to draw attention to the strong growth potential and supportive business environment of New Hampshire’s Seacoast region. The winning start-up or business plan will receive a prize package that includes cash and in-kind services of valued at $20,000 or more.

Last year, more than 30 businesses entered the competition and seven finalists were chosen for the Shark Tank-like final round of judging in front of more than 100 spectators. Start-Up 2015 is organized by the Rochester Department of Community & Economic Development and the Alpha Loft based in Portsmouth, Manchester and Durham. Bank of New Hampshire, with offices throughout the Seacoast region, is the presenting sponsor. Other sponsors include Albany International, Great Bay Community College, Lydall and SmartATI Construction. The city of Rochester will host the final judging round at Frisbie Memorial Hospital Conference Center, Whitehall Road, on November 5, and the public is invited to attend this event.

For more information, contact the Rochester Division of Community & Economic Development, 603-335-7522 or visit www.seacoastnhstartup.com.

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Former START-UP winner on judges panel at 2015 competition

2014 winner Joel Robinson offers advice for contestants

Joel Robinson of VidFall, winner of the 2014 Seacoast Start-Up competition.

Joel Robinson of VidFall, winner of the 2014 Seacoast Start-Up competition.

ROCHESTER, NH – Contestants in Rochester’s annual Seacoast NH Start-Up competition will be able to tap into insights from Joel Robinson, CEO of VidFall and winner of the 2014 competition. Robinson has signed on to be on the judges’ panel for the 2015 competition. Finalists will be announced on October 23. Final judging will be held on November 11 at the Frisbie Memorial Hospital Conference Center on Whitehall Road in Rochester. Contest information and applications are available at SeacoastNHStartUP.com.

“VidFall is going well,” says Robinson. VidFall is a social platform for shoppers, and Robinson credits the competition for giving him confidence and critical market insights at an important juncture in the development of his business. “The competition was just two weeks before we launched, it was great to know that the judges and the audience liked the concept, and they gave feedback that helped.“

Robinson offers these “words of wisdom” for this year’s contestants:

1)     “Be passionate in your pitch. Express excitement and give the judges a reason to believe in the concept as much as you do.”

2)     “Find a solution to a real problem. Convince the judges that there is a market that is looking for a solution and that you know how to market to them.”

3)     “Be open. Show your willingness to accept feedback and find robust solutions. We were inspired by our audience to rebrand and it is making a difference.”

After the competition and based in part on feedback the concept received during the judging round and in one-on-one interviews with site users, Robinson and his VidFall co-founder Steve Messa, a New Hampshire native and graduate of University of New Hampshire, have re-branded their business. The original concept of VidFall focused on what he called the “coupon cutters” market. Robinson and Messa have re-branded the site to appeal to male millennials. Currently the site, VidFall.com is a social marketplace for video games, entertainment, tech and devices, food and sports/apparel. It has 34,000 regular users and is growing steadily, according to Robinson.

Seacoast NH Start-Up is a New Hampshire-based competition only open to contestants that are a for-profit New Hampshire-based business with an innovative idea, formed no more than five years prior to the deadline for applications.

To learn more about Seacoast NH Start-Up, please visit www.seacoastnhstartup.com.

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3rd Annual Seacoast NH Start-Up Call for Entries & Dates Announced

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FOR INFORMATION, contact 603-335-7522 or Jennifer.Murphy.Aubin@rochesternh.net

ROCHESTER, NH – Are you an industrious start up business or an aspiring entrepreneur germinating on a bright idea? Organizers of Start-Up 2015 have set dates for the third annual contest that celebrates entrepreneurialism in the Seacoast region. Applications from start-up businesses are due October 9th; finalists will be announced on October 23rd; and the final judging will be held November 5th, 5:30 PM at Frisbie Memorial Hospital, Whitehall Road.

Start-Up 2015 is a business competition created to help grow young, innovative businesses and draw attention to the strong business environment of New Hampshire’s Seacoast area. The winning idea and business plan will receive a prize package valued at $20,000 including cash and in-kind services.

Applications and eligibility are available online at www.seacoastnhstartup.com.

The competition is currently recruiting sponsors for the event.  Last year, over 30 businesses entered the competition and seven finalists were chosen for the Shark Tank-like final round of judging in front of more than 100 spectators.

“A competition like this helps to identify the emerging businesses and help to accelerate their plans.  The competition also provides keen insights from the panel of judges and community members, which proves invaluable to the finalists,” said Karen Pollard, economic development manager for the City of Rochester, one of the event organizers. The winner, Vid Fall, went on to win additional start up funds.

Start-Up 2015 is organized by the Rochester Department of Community & Economic Development and the Alpha Loft based in Portsmouth, Manchester and Durham. Bank of New Hampshire, which has offices throughout the Seacoast region, is the presenting sponsor.

For more information, contact the Rochester Division of Community & Economic Development, 603-335-7522.