BUILD Boston’s BUILD Fest Pitch Challenge 2018

2018 Build Fest Pitch Winners Bottom Feeders
2018 Build Fest Pitch Winners Bottom Feeders with their prize check

It was a cool June evening when David and I headed over to the Sheraton Boston to meet up with photography team members Jean and Rich to photograph BUILD Fest Pitch Challenge for the third year in a row. Our client, BUILD Greater Boston, was primed for another great event. The student business expo/fundraiser was a great success. Three high school entrepreneurs pitched their business models to a group of judges for a chance to win the grand prize of $2,000! Rich was ready with a fun selfie station photo booth, and Jean and David were ready to cover the business expo and gala. I was shooting some video and checked out the event to blog about it again.

It was great to see last year’s BUILD Fest Pitch winner, Double Charge, at their booth. Their unique product is a combination water bottle holder and cell phone battery charger holder. Some of the other businesses exhibiting again were Orphan Sock, Roll N’ Go, Razzle Dazzle and Luggage Tags. I was also very happy to see that Cookie Boss provided custom cookies for the gala again.

BUILD Fest Pitch Business Expo

J and D Devil Sauce at BUILDFest Pitch Business Expo
J and D Devil Sauce at BUILD Fest Pitch 2018 Business Expo
Razzle Dazzle at BUILDFest Pitch 2018
Last Year’s finalist, Razzle Dazzle at BUILD Fest Pitch 2018 student expo

This year, I picked up a bottle of J&D’s Devil Sauce, a sweet and spicy hot sauce. As one who makes her own hot sauce, I was impressed with the flavors and after tasting a sample. The maple syrup gave it just the right amount of sweetness to balance the heat of the peppers.

David Directing the BuildFest Pitch Finalist
David Directing the BuildFest Pitch finalist for a photo on stage
BUILDFest Pitch Photo Booth fun
The photo booth with Rich is always a fun time

As always, Rich did a wonderful job with the photo booth. Guests were able to select and upload their photos to their social media platforms at his iPad kiosks.

Mayor Walsh listening to young entrepreneurs business pitch
Mayor Walsh listening to young entrepreneurs business pitch

BUILD Fest Pitch and Fundraiser

Ayele Shakur Executive Director BUILD
Ayele Shakur Executive Director BUILD

After the BUILD Fest Pitch 2018 business expo, the doors to the gala opened. The the second part of the evening began with a speech from Boston’s Mayor, Marty Walsh. Emmy award winning news anchor, Vanessa Welch, emceed the gala. She introduced all of the speakers as well as the three BUILD teams.

Finalist Spice Kit performing their dynamic Pitch
Finalist Spice Kit performing their dynamic Pitch

The three BUILD Fest Pitch business entrepreneurs who had the opportunity to pitch their business plans to the judges and audience were Cultural Secrets Cookbook, Spice Kit, and Bottom Feeders. They each did a fantastic job presenting their products and discussing their research and financial reporting. They spoke about obstacles that they had to overcome and the importance of grit.

Vanessa Welch with 2nd Place winner Cultural Secrets Cookbook
Vanessa Welch with 2nd Place winner Cultural Secrets Cookbook

In between pitches, some impressive fundraising went on with an auction and live mobile app donations. BUILD teaches kids important life and business skills to help prepare them for their future while building their confidence. This is a great program with an impressive track record for successfully keeping high school kids in school through graduation and on to college.

Mentor of the Year with last years Pitch winner Double Charge
Mentor of the Year with last years BUILD Fest Pitch 2018 winner, Double Charge
BUILD Boston CEO and Mentor of the Year 2016
BUILD Boston CEO and Mentor of the Year 2016 with his family

BUILD Greater Boston

Many area school committees want to implement the BUILD program into their high schools. This takes a tremendous amount of resources to do it successfully, but from what I can see, it is well worth it. All of us at David Fox, Photographer are grateful to have been entrusted to capture these moments for the last three years and we look forward to next year!

BUILD Boston Local Advisory Board
BUILD Boston Local Advisory Board members pose for a fun photo

Read about last year’s BUILDFest Pitch 2017.