FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A Dozen Cousins Food Company Takes Home Top Prize at 2nd Annual Naturally Bay Area Pitch Slam Celebration & Competition
San Francisco Natural Products Community Gathered for Premier Industry Event of the Year to Hear Companies Compete for Prize Packages Worth a Total Value of $161,000, Including $5,000 Cash, a Natural Products Expo East Booth, and Suite of Professional Services
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (January 28, 2020) – Naturally Bay Area, a vibrant and thriving business community comprised of entrepreneurs, investors, innovators and leading brands in the natural and organic products industry, is proud to announce this year’s 2nd Annual Pitch Slam award winners. Held in conjunction with the Winter Fancy Food Show, the organization’s premier event of the year took place at a capacity crowd on Sunday, January 19, 2020, at the Mission Bay Conference Center, San Francisco, CA.
More than 400 natural products industry entrepreneurs, veterans, and investors gathered and cheered on six Pitch Slam finalists who each shared their company’s brand stories and innovations. Each Pitch Slam finalist presented a timed business pitch to a panel of select expert judges who voted for the final top two winners. The audience also got in on the action to select the Audience Choice winner. The six presenting finalists included: A Dozen Cousins, Bread SRSLY, Down to Cook, Dr Hops Kombucha, Outlaw Soaps, and Renewal Mill.
The event provided a unique setting for A-list industry leaders to network and mingle with an all-star panel of judges, keynote speakers, and special guests.
A Dozen Cousins Takes Grand Prize
Out of the six competing brands at the Pitch Slam, Berkeley-based A Dozen Cousins, a socially conscious, minority-owned, food company dedicated to creating soulfully seasoned ready-to-eat beans, won this year’s grand prize. The other top prize winners from the Pitch Slam included, 2nd Place: Bread SRSLY and Audience Choice Award: Renewal Mill.
A Dozen Cousins Grand Prize package is worth $82,000, including a free booth at Natural Products Expo East 2020 and a guaranteed spot at the Expo East Pitch Slam (courtesy of New Hope Network), the world’s largest natural products trade show on the East Coast, in addition to $5,000 in cash. The Pitch Slam Prizes include a plethora of resources a growth stage company could need including office space, legal services, accounting services, one-on-one meetings with a Whole Foods buyer, photography, design, branding & marketing services, memberships to natural products CPG community groups + more. The 2nd Place and Audience Choice Winner, will also each receive a prize pack valued at nearly $40,000, which also includes, strategy consulting from leading marketing and public relations agencies, office space and more.
“As an entrepreneur, my day is hectic, which frequently leaves me with limited time to interact with other peers and leaders in this industry,” says Ibraheem Basir, A Dozen Cousins CEO and Founder. “The Naturally Bay Area Pitch Slam provided the perfect platform to share our story of A Dozen Cousins…I am very thankful for this opportunity.”
It Takes A Village
“Naturally Bay Area wishes to extend congratulations and gratitude to everyone who participated in this year’s Pitch Slam. The judges had a hard decision to make with so many fabulous competitors. We wish everyone continued success and are fovever grateful for the community’s support in attending our premier event,” says Don Buder, Naturally Bay Area Board Chair and Founding Board Member.
The following is a complete list of Winners, Finalists and Community Champion Award recipients:
PITCH SLAM WINNERS
- Grand Prize: Ibraheem Basir – A Dozen Cousins
- 2nd Place: Sadie Scheffer – Bread SRSLY
- Audience Choice Award: Claire Schlemme – Renewal Mill
PITCH SLAM FINALISTS
COMMUNITY CHAMPION AWARDS
The following recipients are selected based on their commitment and support of the Naturally Bay Area and natural products community:
- Pete Brennan and Maria Brennan – Soñar! Foods
- Carol O’Hara and Ryan Musser – BPM LLP
- Scott May, Danny Rubenstein, and Judy Kelly – MISTA
- Daniel Kurzrock – ReGrained
Naturally Bay Area was honored to welcome the following special guests and judges:
- Keynote: Miyoko Schinner – Miyoko’s
- MC: Lisa Curtis – Kuli Kuli
- Fireside Chat Host: Wayne Wu – VMG Partners
- Fireside Chat Entrepreneurs: Elizabeth Giannuzzi – Siren Snacks and Hector Saldívar – Tia Lupita®Foods
PITCH SLAM JUDGES
- Kevin Cleary: Principal, Big Rock Growth Advisors
- Aditi Dash: Partner, CircleUp Growth Partners
- Danny Rubenstein: Managing Partner, Mista
- Robyn Rutledge: Founder & CEO, SBG Growth
- Patrick Wyman: Local Forager, Whole Foods Market Northern California and Reno
2020 Pitch Slam Competition Sponsors
Naturally Bay Area would like to recognize the following sponsors for their continued support of the 2nd Annual Pitch Slam: Aspect Consumer Partners, Bedrock Analytics, Compass Natural Marketing, Nielsen, New Hope Network, WeWork Food Labs, and Whole Foods Market. For a complete list of Pitch Slam sponsors, visit here.
About Naturally Bay Area
Naturally Bay Area is dedicated to building and fostering a community that nurtures conscious growth, leadership, and innovation in the Bay Area natural products industry. Founded in 2018 as a 501c6 non-profit organization, it now has over five hundred members comprised of entrepreneurs, investors, innovators, and emerging and leading brands. Naturally Bay Area provides access to cutting-edge business education events and programs, opportunities for meaningful connections and networking, and special celebrations.
Naturally Bay Area is a part of Naturally Network, which supports a national ecosystem to galvanize and grow the natural and organic products industry. Naturally Network serves those who wish to create a more conscious and regenerative economy and culture through the power of business. Our collective goal is to manifest meaningful change for our industry, our society, and our planet.
Naturally Bay Area Sponsors
Naturally Bay Area is proud and grateful for the support of its Premier, Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze-level Sponsors. Premier Sponsors include Aspect Consumer Partners, BPM LLP, Clif Bar & Company, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, GABY, Mind the Font, Mista/Givaudan, Navitas Organics, New Hope Network, and Propeller Industries. For a complete list of Sponsors, visit here.