Business Incubator Entrepreneurs Engage in Annual Pitch Night

Careavan wins first place prize money, takes title of best idea
Matt Hostick
Business incubator groups line up at the end of the annual pitch night event, Thursday, May 2. Carepool won the day with their carpooling idea, taking home $15k.

A festive mood settled on the Performing Arts Center (PAC) Thursday, May 2, as the junior class convened for the annual pitch night. This event gives a platform for the brightest ideas from the business incubator class to be presented to a group of professional judges for funding. Since its beginning in 2017, it has produced nationally acclaimed visions that gives students the opportunity to start the business of their dreams.

The most prominent of these former ideas was Notifeye, an app that works to improve focus on roads. Notifeye won national awards after being presented at the school’s 2023 pitch night. The members of Notifeye spoke at this year’s pitch night, talking about their journey across America earning funding, what they were currently working on and what their future plans are.

As the festivities kicked off, five groups presented their ideas to both the judges and a live crowd in the PAC. 

The first group to go was Careavan which proposed a carpool networking app for communities. They included an impressive amount of safety technology, keeping any  potential problems at bay. The app featured a point system where parents could gain points by giving out rides and spend them by getting their kids picked up. 

Moving the night forward was Tomani, a proposed cosmetic company which battled child labor and price gouging in the beauty industry. The highlight of the presentation was a promise to send 5% of profits to UNICEF, a United Nations Organization currently fighting child labor.

The next group to present was Floodfinder which worked to prevent flooding deaths by utilizing water sensors and an app to alert people in high risk flooding areas of rising waters in the night. Then, Theracare presented a therapy app to connect local therapists and support groups with teenagers in a community.

Finally, Benefit presented, and they showed an idea for an online sizing tool meant to streamline the online shopping process as well as minimize lost revenue from returns over mis-sized clothes.

Careavan took first prize at the end of the night, winning $15K in funding. Benefit picked up second place, as well as the people’s choice award which earned them a total of $10K in funding.

“I think collectively, we’re really relieved, and we’re happy with the outcome,” Careavan member Emiliano Chavez said.

The process of developing business ideas is an arduous process, and the road to success wasn’t always direct for Careavan.

“This was the first idea we had, we changed to a couple others during the process,” Sriki Mechineni said, “but in the end we circled back around, and I think we made the right choice.”

Once they’d figured out their idea, the process of figuring out how they wanted to execute their presentation was a lengthy process.

“With the hours we put in and how much effort we put into this, we’re happy that it turned out with a great result,” Wraye Cormack said.

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