Bobcat Ventures Pitch Competition 2024

2024 Competitors:

(l to r) Ella Blum ’24, Max Good ’25, Sadie Kriegler ’24, Ben Schippers ’04, Linh Hoang Vu ’26, Pranav Ghai ’93, P’26, Azajul Islam Neloy ’27, David He ’26, Thomas Davis ’27, Diyor Kamolov ’27, Aidan Stark-Chessa ’26, Carine Warsawski ’07, Vova Sosnovskii ’26, Anh Duc Than ’24, Tanvir Thamid ’26, Aldair Desiderio ’24, Ethan Bean ’24 and Charlie Gainey ’24 (on Zoom)

2024 Judges:

Pranav Ghai ’93, P’26, co-founder of CalcBench; Ben Schippers ’04, co-founder of HappyFunCorp; Carine Warsawski ’07, founder of Trybal Gatherings. 2024 Emcee: Chris Euston ’23, analyst at DH Capital.

2024 Winners:

  • 1st Place: Aidan Stark-Chessa ’26 pitching Honey Suckle, a cocktail alternative, prioritizing flavor. 
  • 2nd Place: Tanvir Thamid ’26 pitching Edbridge Scholars, an education startup that helps lower income Bangladeshi students pursue college in North America.
  • 3rd Place: Thomas Davis ’27 pitching Chunk(it)!, a web application that enables students to effectively plan and predict their days.  

Who We Are

Bobcat Ventures is a series of training, coaching and mentoring events and programs leading up to an annual pitch competition. It is organized each year by the Center for Purposeful Work and a group of hard-working students dedicated to growing the entrepreneurial landscape at Bates. We work with alumni, faculty, and staff all year long to prepare a program that will help teams refine their idea, project or business, and pitch it successfully in the spring.

2023 Bobcat Ventures Winning Pitch Teams with competition judges and large prize check
2023 Bobcat Ventures winning teams and alumni judges hold “the big check” made out to Up Next Academy (Jacob Iwowo ’23) and Magic by Abby Segal (Abby Segal ’23) The panel of alumni judges included Emma Sprague ’10, Ben Schippers ’04, and Pranav Ghai ’93 with expert knowledge in an array of fields. (photo credit: Kendall Williams ’23)

2024 Schedule

1/23: Introduction to Bobcat Ventures | 7:00 – 8:00 pm, Commons 226

1/30: Bobcat Ventures Session #1 | 7:00 – 8:00 pm, Commons 226

2/13: Bobcat Ventures Session #2 | 6:00 – 7:00 pm, Commons 226

2/27: Bobcat Ventures Session #3 | 7:00 – 8:00 pm, Commons 226

3/12: Bobcat Ventures Session #4 | 7:00 – 8:00 pm, Commons 226

3/17: Pitch Practice | 12:00 – 2:00 pm, Commons 211

3/18: Pitch Practice | 7:00 – 8:00 pm, Commons 211

3/26: Drop-Ins | 7:00 – 8:00 pm, Commons 211

3/28: Boston Bates Business Network Pitch Practice | 6:00 – 8:00 pm, Cambridge, MA

4/6 Bobcat Ventures Pitch Competition | 9:00 am – 1:00 pm, Commons 221


2023 Winners

Abby Segal ’23 with Magic by Abby Segal

Jacob Iwowo ’23 with Up Next Academy

Richie Nuzum ’23 and Gus McAllister ’23 with Crave Swipe

Grace Biddle ’23, Ella Blum ’24, Kami Lambert ’23 with Nesca$h

2023 Competitors

David Ingram ’24 with Indexify; Jacob Iwowo ’23 with Up Next Academy; Grace Biddle ’23, Ella Blum ’24, Kami Lambert ’23 with Nesca$h; Vova Sosnovskii ’26 with Maine Boost; Abby Segal ’23 with Magic by Abby Segal; Julia Newell ’26 with Hear You Know Me; Richie Nuzum ’23 & Gus McAllister ’23 with Crave Swipe; Bobby Dall ’23 & Ciaran Bardong ’22 with Dose.

Past Leaders:

Matt Perejda ’14 (founder), Creighton Foulkes ’17, Mike Mulach ’15, Michelle Pham ’15, Phathu Rambau ’17, Rokya Samake ’15, Shanina van Gent ’18, Ned Moreland ’19, Cris Thompson ’19, Julien Lewin ’20, ElKhansaa Kaddioui ’20, Kerrry Manuel ’21, Andres Carranza ’21,  Pierson Rambush ’22, JDaniel Kim ’22, Christopher Euston ’23, Jeff Gao ’23, Kemunto Ongera ’23

2023 Alumni Judges:

Chris Barbin, Founder & CEO, Tercera

Ben Schippers, CEO & Co-Founder, HappyFunCorp

Emma Sprague, Co-Founder & Director, Upswing Strategies

BIG thanks to these Alumni Speakers and Mentors:

Pranav Ghai, Co-Founder & CEO, Calcbench, Inc.

William Loopesko, Co-Founder/CTO Aclymate

Fergus Moynihan, Product Manager, Raven Health

Mark Langer, CTO, Artyc

Carine Warsawski ’07, Founder, Trybal Gatherings

Daniel Barsky, Partner, Holland & Knight

Joe Miller, Founder and Principal, Miller Clearly, LLC

Sam Abrahamson, co-founder

Sam Huleatt, Director, On Deck Angels

Todd Kozikowski, CRO, Pivotal Analytics

Newell Cotton ’92, COO N America, H3 Dynamics

Ian Edmundson ’92, CFO, Quit Genius

Robb Brown ’92, Founder, Denver Retail Group & President and Founder, Guard My Vote

Allen Kendunga ’18, Founder & CEO, Talent Match, Inc.

Erin Lydon ’92, Managing Director/GM, Poker Powher

Mbali Ndlovu ’09, Founder, Lukafit

Michelle Pham ’15, Chief of Staff, Strategy & Operations Lead at TikTok

Jon Steuber ’08, Co-Founder, Valpo Surf Project

Past Years Judges

  • 2022 Judges: Emma Sprague ’10, Ben Schippers ’04, Pranav Ghai ’93
  • 2022 Judges: Emma Sprague ’10, Ben Schippers ’04, Chris Barbin ’93
  • 2021 Judges: Emma Sprague ’10, Ben Schippers ’04, Chris Barbin ’93
  • 2019 Judges: Emma Sprague ’10, Ben Schippers ’04, Chris Barbin ’93
  • 2018 Judges: Jennifer Guckel Porter ’88, Chris Barbin ’93, Ben Schippers ’04
  • 2017 Judges: Chris Barbin ’93, Reid Christian ’12, Tasnia Huque ’12, Ben Schippers ’04
  • 2016 Judges: Dan Vannoni ’05, Ross Brockman ’11, Jack Keigwin ’59
  • 2016 Keynote Speaker: Graham Veysey ’04
  • 2015 Judges: Victor Otley ’83, Patrick Jackson ’11, Ross Brockman ’11
  • 2015 Keynote Speaker: Matt Perejda ’14

Judge asking question with microphone in hand

Some of Our Past Winners

Nook Storage’s peer-to-peer online marketplace offers the most affordable and convenient storage space. Nook Storage saves students money, monetizes auxiliary space for hosts, and brings together the communities of college towns. College students are all too familiar with the struggle of finding affordable and nearby spaces to store their belongings over the summer. Nook was launched by George Delana ’19 to alleviate this struggle.

Herban Works is a social enterprise launched by Ali Rabideau ’17 at Lewiston’s Center for Wisdom’s Women. Women at the Center grow herbs in downtown Lewiston and manufacture healing salves, teas, salted herbs and lavender eye pillows.


Blended, a mobile smoothie cart idea to serve the Bates community by combining healthiness with convenience. When Commons is closed before athletics or a long night in the library, Blended will be there to provide you with a healthy, hydrating, energy-boosting and delicious smoothie.

Green Line Productions is an aerial videography and photography production company based in Maine. Using drones with our own software, our company provides customized videography and photography services for private events as well as the real estate, construction, and tourism industries.


Lightyear Strategies is dedicated to simplifying the process of digital branding. We do so by creating cost effective, user friendly websites for our clients on platforms such as Squarespace, Weebly, and Shopify.


SpotShot is an iOS application used to create an overlay image from a video.

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