Moonshot at NACET’s Third Annual Pioneer Pitch Competition Awards Cash and Scholarships to Innovative Flagstaff Entrepreneurs
Innovation has always had a home in Flagstaff. Whether we’re training Apollo astronauts, making advances in the med-tech industry, or studying astrogeology at the United States Geological Survey, we are a city of risk-takers and change-makers.
This past weekend, Moonshot at NACET awarded cash prizes and scholarships to many local business pioneers during Flagstaff’s Third Annual Pioneer Pitch Competition and Innovate Waste & Carbon Neutrality Challenge kick-off.
The Shark Tank-esque pitch competition events started on Friday night at NACET’s campus with a VIP reception sponsored by Sunwest Bank. Sponsors, city leaders, participants, mentors, and past winners celebrated both past and current pitch participants.
Evan Anderson and Kelly Czarnecki, former state-wide and local Pioneer Pitch winners and the owners of Drinking Horn Meadery in downtown Flagstaff, spoke to the VIP crowd about what winning 2019’s Pioneer Pitch Competition meant to them.
(VIDEO: 2019 AZ Pioneer Pitch Winners, Evan Anderson and Kelly Czarnecki, speaking at the VIP Reception on Friday, November 12 at NACET.)
“One of the best parts about being a part of the Pioneer Pitch is the education you receive after the competition is over,” Kelly said. “Not only did we get the opportunity to learn more about how to grow and scale our business, but we also got to know other entrepreneurs who are in our same shoes. Two years later, we still celebrate one another’s successes and lean on each other for support and guidance. Moonshot and the Pioneer Pitch made that possible.”
This year, first prize ($5,000) went to Adam Stephanovic, CEO and Co-founder of PWR Lab—the premier provider of connected sports services. Their technology enables athletes of all abilities to pursue and achieve optimal health, training and performance through wearable device data, connected experiences, and cutting-edge sports science.
Second prize ($2,000) was awarded to Kevin Gurney, a climate scientist, ecologist and policy expert who designed a computer program that measures greenhouse gas emissions in major U.S. cities.
Susan Purrington took home third prize ($1,000) for her crowdsourced app, Inclusive Spaces. The app provides much-needed, crowdsourced inclusivity and accessibility information for marginalized and disabled populations.
In addition to cash prizes, all three top place winners also receive a year-long Moonshot at NACET scholarship valued at $3,000 per year.
Scholarships have also been awarded to the following pitch participants:
Participants whose business ideas qualify for the Innovate Waste & Carbon Neutrality Challenge are moving forward to compete for $30,000 in cash prizes on Earth Day 2022. Applications are still open for the Challenge. Go to https://www.moonshotaz.com/innovate-waste-challenge-2021.html for more information.
PWR Lab will go on to compete against other tour-stop winners for top prize ($10,000) in the state-wide AZ Pioneer Pitch Tour Competition sponsored by APS, Liveplan, and Arizona Commerce Authority. The state-wide Pioneer Pitch tour includes the following cities: Flagstaff, Show Low, Winslow/Holbrook, Globe, Verde Valley, Prescott, and Payson. The state-wide pitch competition will take place on June 17, 2022 during the 2nd Annual Shoemaker Awards at Little America Hotel.
“Each year, the competition gets better and better, and the caliber of ideas, products, and services continues to level up,” said Scott Hathcock, CEO of Moonshot at NACET and founder of the AZ Pioneer Pitch Tour. “We’re thrilled to see entrepreneurs across all sectors thriving and creating jobs in Flagstaff. Our founders are proving, once again, that you don’t need to live in a major metropolitan market to make your entrepreneurship dreams come true.”
Many thanks to the mentors/judges who volunteered their time to mentor, coach, and teach pitch participants:
Thanks, again, to the City of Flagstaff, Nordstrom and Associates, Wanderlust Brewing, Drinking Horn Meadery, APS, Liveplan, and Arizona Commerce Authority for helping make this event possible.
For more information about the AZ Pioneer Pitch Tour, go to https://www.moonshotaz.com/az-pioneer-pitch-2122.html.
For more information about Innovate Waste and Carbon Neutrality Challenge, go to https://www.moonshotaz.com/innovate-waste-challenge-2021.html.
Moonshot at NACET
2225 N. Gemini Dr.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
249 E. Chicago St.
Chandler, AZ 85225
AZ Stitch Lab
625 W. Rillito St.
Tucson, AZ 85705