February 28, 2017
When it comes to tech entrepreneurs and restaurateurs, the similarities are uncanny. At first, nobody wants to give you money, you have little access to experts and mentors, and traction is a seemingly impossible mountain that you must climb. Jim Koch, founder of Samuel Adams, also faced these challenges and now leads America’s leading craft brewery. As a result, Koch and the team at Samuel Adams created the Brewing an American Dream program to get the next small food or beverage entrepreneurs a leg up.
Formed in 2008, the program has resulted in $15.5 million in loans provided, businesses coached, jobs created, and of course products pitched. Coming up on March 12, Samuel Adams will be bringing a popup pitch competition to Austin, TX, during SXSW Interactive.
Rising star food and beverage entrepreneurs will be going head-to-head in two minute pitches, with each going after a $10,000 reward, mentoring, and digital packages. Though the event has already sold out, it will air on Facebook live, where viewers will be able to help select the people’s choice award, which will yield an additional $5,000 to the selected team. However, entrepreneurs can still apply to pitch by March 3rd.
For those luckily enough to have grabbed a ticket, Samuel Adams will also be be serving a limited-release beer, named “BOS x AUS,” which was brewed in collaboration with Austin-based Infamous Brewing. This special beer is a smoked oyster stout that will be available at the Pitch Room event as well as at select Austin bars and restaurants.
Beyond the beverages, Samuel Adams has lined up an esteemed panel of judges, which should result in some fierce competition:
- Jennifer Glanville (Samuel Adams Brewer, “Most Creative People in Business” according to FastCo)
- Jae Kim (Founder of Chi’Lantro in Austin, TX)
- Lockhart Steele (Cofounder of Eater.com & VOX Media Editorial Director)
- Koel Thomae (Cofounder of Noosa Yoghurt)
- Justin Breton (Head of Marketing Partnerships at Foursquare)
The popup pitch competition will be held on March 12 from 3-5:30 CDT and be located at the Whole Foods Market in Austin. Interested in pitching? Apply here by March 3rd. If you just want to attend the event, grab your tickets here.
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