Entrepreneurs present at The Tahoe Pitch Showcase

Special to the Sun
The event, which was held for the first time in two years, was well attended.
Provided / Nina Photography

TRUCKEE, Calif. – After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the Tahoe Pitch Showcase was back in action. Co-partnered by Tahoe Silicon Mountain and the Sierra Business Council, the pitch camp and showcase enable local entrepreneurs to develop a presentation and then pitch their business or business idea to a panel of judges and an audience.

Six entrepreneurs were picked from the pitch camp to make their presentations.

Business category:

  • Ansley Fender, Atlas Solutions, Inc.: A software platform for managing grant funds.
  • Craig Rowe, Jaguar Initiative: A program providing local internships for college grads.
  • Daniel Feldman, Aprés Pop:  A flavored popcorn business.

And in the student category:

  • Emmy & Melissa, Smoothieverse: A Smoothie business with unique flavors.
  • Isaac, Tahoe-Truckee Pet Services: Connecting pet owners with student pet sitters
  • Sophia, Los Puentes Lingüísticos: Developing cross-cultural interaction in Spanish Classes

The evening was moderated by Jessica Carr of the Sierra Business Development Center. Each entrepreneur had five minutes to make their pitch, and then were asked questions by the judges. The pitches were lighting fast and created a clear picture of the market each entrepreneur was going after, how they would address that market, the revenue, expenses, and how much investment they thought they would need to launch the business or take it to the next level.

At the end of the presentations, the audience was able to pick a people’s choice winner who received a cash prize of $250.00.  Sophia Martin was the people’s choice winner with her very well-composed and poised presentation. Sophia also won the student category, receiving a cash prize and a professional headshot

Ansley Fender won the business category with a compelling pitch on moving grant dollar management from spreadsheets, to a designed software reporting system that not only helps the recipients of the grants but helps the funding agencies to better manage the funds that they grant.  Ansley also received a cash prize and professional headshots along with a membership in the Chamber of Commerce, and the Lift Workspace. 

After a 2-year break, the Tahoe Pitch Showcase was well attended and after the presentations, the speakers were surrounded by the audience asking follow-up questions. The audience deemed the evening a success and was very supportive of the addition of the youth to the program. The Tahoe Pitch Showcase will return next year, so start thinking about your new business ideas.

The event was supported by: Plumas Bank, Town of Truckee, Truckee Chamber of Commerce, Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation, Holland & Hart LLP, MOBO Law, LLP, McCullough Web Services, Pamela Hurt Associates, Lift Truckee, and Nina Miller Photography. Mentors and judges also donated their time to Tahoe Pitch Camp and Tahoe Pitch Showcase.

For those who missed the event, it can be found on the Tahoe Silicon Mountain YouTube channel at

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