The Startup Stampede grand finale is all set - McKinney

The Startup Stampede grand finale is all set

April 26, 2018

For the nine startups taking part in the American Underground’s Startup Stampede, the moment of truth is almost here. On April 30, they’ll make their final pitches for a prize package that could catapult them to national success.

The stampede is designed to help a curated group of promising startups better position themselves to earn a piece of the fast-growing consumer products market. Deloitte’s 2018 Consumer Products Industry Outlook states “It is estimated that online sales of consumer products will increase 350 percent from $8B to $36B.” The number of consumer product startups at Durham’s American Underground hub has grown from four in 2013 to 18 today.

As part of an incubator program that started in March, the retail-focused startups serve a wide range of segments, from cosmetics and personal care to children’s dolls, and they’ve honed their digital marketing plans and launched new product campaigns. Now, they’ll have the opportunity to win a prize coveted by any startup — $100,000 in services from one of the country’s premier marketing and advertising agencies, McKinney.

The pitch competition will be April 30 with judges from Burt’s Bees/Clorox, McKinney and Ad Age. Following the pitch, all nine startups will host a pop-up shop at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.

In addition to the judges’ decision, the voice of the people will be heard, too. Those attending the ceremony will be invited to vote for their favorite company’s presentation, with the company receiving the most votes being named the winner of the People’s Choice Award. Voters will do this by texting a phone number with their choice. The People’s Choice Award voting will also be available to those watching the pitch competition on a Facebook Live stream on McKinney’s Facebook page.

The full list of participating companies include:

  • Beard and Lady (Creedmoor, NC): Beard and Lady sells apothecary-inspired grooming products for men and women which enhance the chemistry of relationships through our unique flavors and scents creating intrigue and curiosity. @beardandlady
  • Brothers Vilgalys (Durham, NC): Brothers Vilgalys Spirits produces Krupnikas Spiced Honey and other craft liqueurs. @BrosVilgalys
  • Descalza (Raleigh, NC): Descalza is a handcrafted, Latino-inspired clothing brand that fuses artisan textiles and modern fashion. @WearDescalza
  • Fillaree (Durham, NC): Fillaree is a small batch, organic liquid soap manufacturing company, focused on providing refill services to consumers and businesses who want to reduce their waste in a more impactful way. @FillareeSoaps
  • Healthy Roots Dolls (Cincinnati, OH): Healthy Roots Dolls is a toy company that creates dolls and storybooks that teach natural hair care because every girl should feel empowered by the beauty of the kink of her curl and the color of her skin. @RootsDolls
  • Nellino’s (Raleigh, NC): Raleigh-based Nellino’s makes extraordinary super-premium all-natural, organic and biodynamic pasta sauces. Nellino’s is committed to helping in the fight against hunger through annual donations to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. @NellinosSauce
  • Sonoma West Beauty (San Francisco, CA): Sonoma West is an all-natural beauty and cosmetics company founded in Northern California. @SWBeautyCo
  • Tracy’s Gourmet (Morrisville, NC): Tracy’s Gourmet® sells healthy artisan foods made from high-quality ingredients that are clean, flavorful and fun without compromise. @TracysGourmet
  • Wotter (Cary, NC): Wotter is a modern athletic swim gear brand that celebrates and elevates female swim athletes. We employ tech-crafted materials and female forward styling to foster individual expression, self-confidence and lifelong retention of girls in the sport of swim. @WotterSwim

Event Details

WHAT: Startup Stampede Pitch Competition and Pop-Up Shops

WHERE: Full Frame Theater at American Tobacco Campus—318 Blackwell St, Durham

WHEN: Pitch Competition 4:30–5:45 p.m.; Pop-Up Shops 6–7:30 p.m.