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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