Spark Tank, Endicott College’s business pitch competition, embodies the College’s mission and entrepreneurial spirit. And it was this spirit that filled the seats last Monday as each aspiring entrepreneur pitched their big idea to a panel of judges to win a total of $15,000 in startup capital to launch their ideas from pitch to reality.
This year’s judges were Michelle Labossiere, chief financial officer of Colmar Belting; Jugmi Rao, vice president at TD Bank; Ric Upton, entrepreneur-in-residence at Endicott; and Gary Vogel, senior operations manager at LabCentral.
The event was organized by FUEL, the student business accelerator at the Angle Center for Entrepreneurship, and sponsored by TD Charitable Foundation and the Cummings Foundation. Both sponsors presented checks of $10,000 and $5,000 to two student entrepreneurs for their business pitches.
Fearnley, an entrepreneurship major, says, “Bringing the trendiness and style from fashion and putting it into fitness that you can wear outside of the gym in your daily life is what Whitecap Fitness is all about.”
“I wanted to take my brand and combine athleisure with luxury and use unique materials like leather and lycra and connect both those industries together,” Fearnley says.
He also shares that he’s had a lot of help along the way saying that both his dad and stepmom have been resources in both the online business and fashion space. He also says that Deirdre Sartorelli, assistant dean of the entrepreneurship center, “has been an unbelievable help to me guiding me through all the decisions that come with entrepreneurship.”
Fearnley says, “My biggest problem is capital. Samples cost a lot of money. I go through three or four samples to make sure my products are right. So, when I heard about Spark Tank, I said I need to get in there, I need to put my all into it to launch my business and get it to where it needs to be.”
Whitecap Fitness has a new collection dropping May 15 which, Fearnley hopes, will be the face of the brand moving forward.
Stephen Solimeno'21, was awarded the second-place prize for Landscape Connect. Landscape connect helps landscapers connect better with both their clients and their workers to improve customer relations and operations. Solimeno, an accounting and finance major, was awarded the CIT International APPrentice 2018 Award for best app idea for Landscape Connect and also won second place at last year’s Spark Tank competition.
Solimeno says, "I was honored to have been selected as one of the winners. I was also lucky enough to have placed second in Spark Tank last year. This year I focused my pitch on viability and that the funding was crucial for app development."
A look at the competition.
Six entrepreneurs presented at this year’s competition. Here’s a snapshot of a few of them.
Matt Cronin, ParkMe
The ParkMe app has the ability to track and locate open parking spaces across campus.
Ashley Webster, The Meridian
The Meridian is a holistic wellness center that provides services and products all under one roof.
Nicholas Fichtner, Data Partners
Data Partners works with small brick and mortar shops, organizations, and companies to increase their marketability through data analysis.
More information on the Angle Center for Entrepreneurship is available at endicott.edu.