With at least $5,000 in the offing, student entrepreneurs pitch business ideas

Matt Perejda '14, keynote speaker at the April 4 Bobcat Ventures pitch competition, is shown with Analysis Group co-founder Bruce Stangle '70 in 2014. Stangle visited campus for the Voices in Entrepreneurship program. (Sarah Crosby/Bates College)

Matt Perejda ’14, keynote speaker at the Bobcat Ventures pitch competition on April 4, 2015, is shown in 2014 with Analysis Group co-founder Bruce Stangle ’70. Stangle visited campus for the Voices in Entrepreneurship program. (Sarah Crosby/Bates College)

“If you’ve been interested in hearing how entrepreneurs grab attention and funding for their start-up, for a prototype for a product or the development of an app, this is a must-see competition,” says Mike Mulach ’17, an organizer of the April 4 business pitch throw-down at Bates.

Bobcat Ventures, a student organization dedicated to entrepreneurship, is sponsoring the competition for prizes of $5,000 or more starting at noon Saturday in the Edmund S. Muskie Archives, 70 Campus Ave. Please RSVP at this link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bobcat-ventures-entrepreneurship-competition-tickets-16340891045

Featuring 11 student teams who will make brief entrepreneurial pitches to a panel of alumni judges, the event begins with a keynote address by entrepreneur Matt Perejda ’14. The competition winner will be announced around 3 p.m.

Each team comprises up to four members, and each pitch will last 10 minutes or less, explains Mulach, a member of Bobcat Ventures from Rocky River, Ohio.

“The pace will be lively, the ideas will be fascinating and there’s serious cash at stake,” he says, likening the event to ABC-TV’s “Shark Tank.”

As a student, Perejda, the event’s keynote speaker, launched Bobcat Den Delivery, a successful college-based startup that sells and delivers late-evening snacks and meals from the college’s Dining Services operation to Bates students on campus.

Here are the alumni judges:

•    Ross Brockman ’11, co-founder of the craft cider brewery Downeast Ciderhouse, who was named one of “30 Under 30” by Forbes magazine;

•    Patrick Jackson ’11, co-founder of SunRaise Investments, a Portland, Maine-based firm that provides solar-generated electricity to help nonprofit groups achieve financial savings and environmental leadership;

•    Victor Otley III ’83, a managing partner at The Gores Group, a private equity firm with approximately $3.5 billion in assets.

The competition’s case prizes are underwritten by sponsors including Bruce Stangle ’70, chair and co-founder of the Boston-based consulting firm Analysis Group Inc. and a longtime supporter and mentor of students interested in entrepreneurship.

Other members of Bobcat Ventures are Michelle Pham ’15 of Vancouver, British Columbia; Rokya Samake ’15 of New York City; Creighton Foulkes ’17 of Belmont, Mass.; Phathutshedzo Rambau ’17 of Morebeng, South Africa; and Shanina van Gent ’18 of Maassluis, Netherlands.

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