NOSH Live Pitch Slam 11: Your Brand Center Stage
As the natural food business continues to grow, entrepreneurs are redefining categories and taking unique approaches to serving consumers with better-for-you snacking, convenience, quality and creativity. Pitch Slam 11 is a business competition for the food industry, designed to support and showcase new products and promising founders. It focuses on the innovators and entrepreneurs designing the products of tomorrow and welcomes 12 emerging food brands to pitch their startup on the NOSH Live stage to industry decision-makers who can open doors and help take their business to the next level.
Semifinal Round - December 2nd
12 semifinalists present 2 minute pitches
4 judges provide immediate feedback
Finalists chosen end of day
Final Round - December 3rd
6 finalists present 5 minute pitches
4 judges engage in interactive Q&A
Winner chosen end of day
$10,000 NOSH advertising package
Live interview on NOSH
You must be a registered attendee of NOSH Live Winter 2021 to participate in Pitch Slam 11 competition.
Accelerate Growth with Industry Awareness and Connections
NOSH Live Pitch Slam puts your brand in the spotlight. Craft your perfect pitch and present on the main stage to the audience, our panel of expert judges from brands, retail, investment, consulting and design and to our international livestream audience. Brands that pitch gain a certain celebrity status among attendees during the show, making conversations with experts, investors and partners happen naturally.
After your brand pitches, our judges will provide instant feedback on market opportunity, packaging, viability and the pitch. The winner will receive the title of Pitch Slam Champion, an interview on the livestream and an awareness package valued at $10,000.
Past Judges: Industry Experts & Gate Keepers
Founder & CEO, CAULIPOWER and Vegolutionary Foods
Gail Becker is the Founder and CEO of CAULIPOWER and Vegolutionary Foods. Already well known in professional circles, Gail’s career reached the highest levels of media, politics and business - including executive roles at Warner Bros., The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and Edelman. But as a mom of two boys with celiac disease, Gail was not happy with the gluten-free options available to her family. Who wants pizza that’s full of sugar and chemicals, or doesn’t taste anything like pizza, or takes 90 minutes to make? Seeing that the food industry offered no nutritious solutions for busy, foodie families to enjoy together, Gail took matters into her own hands and launched CAULIPOWER in early 2017. CAULIPOWER disrupted one of grocery’s most stagnant categories and is now the #1 gluten-free pizza and #1 fastest growing pizza brand in the U.S., with availability in over 22,000 stores. Earlier this year, CAULIPOWER was honored with Walmart’s “Supplier of the Year, Innovation” award. In 2018, Gail launched a new mother brand, Vegolutionary Foods, as a platform for innovative, approachable and convenient meal-hacking products, including the world’s first superfood toast, Sweet PotaTOASTS. Gail is a passionate advocate for new entrepreneurs, women in business and making vegetable nutrition accessible and delicious to all - especially kids.
Founder and Managing Director, 301 INC, Vice President, General Mills, Inc.
John Haugen has driven innovation and growth during his 29 year tenure at General Mills. He currently leads 301 INC, a new business development and venturing unit he founded within the company. In this role, he has led strategic investments in Beyond Meat, Rhythm Superfoods, Tio Gazpacho, Good Culture Cottage Cheese, Kite Hill, D’s Naturals, Farmhouse Culture, Purely Elizabeth, Urban Remedy and GoodBelly. He was also instrumental in the 2016 GMI acquisition of EPIC Provisions. In 2016, Haugen was named to Forbes Magazine’s Consumer Catalyst Awards: The Consumer Industries’ Top Dealmakers and Influencers list and also Crain 100: 100 Innovators, Disruptors and Change-Makers in Business. Haugen received a BA from St. Olaf College with degrees in Mathematics and Economics; in 2011, he was named the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from the college. He received his MBA from The Anderson School at UCLA. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife and four children, and has a passion for fitness and competitive endurance sports.
CEO, Arctic Zero
Mr. Pandhi joined Arctic Zero in 2010 as CEO. Prior to joining Arctic Zero, Mr. Pandhi was a founding member at Huntsman Gay Global Capital, a billion dollar private equity firm. While at Huntsman Gay, Mr. Pandhi was responsible for evaluating and executing leverage buyout and growth equity transactions. Prior to joining Huntsman Gay, he worked in the Mergers & Acquisitions Group at Oppenheimer/CIBC World Markets in New York, New York. He earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics, magna cum laude, and his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from the University of California, Irvine on a Regents Scholarship; he earned his Master in Economics Degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
VP, Category Management & Growth Solutions, KeHE Distributors
Katie is currently Vice President, Category Management & Growth Solutions at KeHE Distributors, where she develops supplier and retailer category management solutions based on analytics, consumer insights, and category trends. Katie has been serving at KeHE for ten years and has held positions in Analytics, Pricing, Integration, Category Management, and Smart Growth Solutions. Katie received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Food & Consumer Packaged Goods Marketing from Western Michigan University. In 2015, Katie was named one of Griffin Report’s Food Marketing “40 Under 40” in 2015. She received her EMBA degree in Food Marketing at Saint Joseph’s University in June 2017 and is currently applying that knowledge back into the industry.
Sr Global Grocery Coordinator, Whole Foods Market
David Lafferty was born and raised on a family farm in Ontario, Canada; a 25 year veteran of the grocery business he is known as a passionate advocate for the entrepreneurs of the natural foods industry. In his current role as an Executive Leader at Whole Foods Market, he is responsible for the merchandising, and P&L of the Candy and Snacks Team. He joined Whole Foods Market in 2006 as a Regional Buyer in the newly formed Pacific Northwest Region and was later promoted to Grocery Coordinator in the Southwest, leading the merchandising and operations for the region. In 2012 he was tapped to join the Global Team as the Sr Global Grocery Coordinator where he has been responsible for the operations, marketing, promotions, and finance relationships, as well as the ongoing mentorship of team members, and advising numerous brands. He started his career with the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Co. (A&P) Canada in 1987 and served in roles including operations, store leadership, and category management in both Canada and the US. David holds a BA in Economics and an MBA from the University of Guelph. He and his family reside in Austin Tx, where they enjoy the laid back lifestyle and culture of their adopted Texas home.
VP of Innovation and Brand Development, Presence Marketing
As Vice-President of Innovation and Brand Development, Tracy Miedema leads business development and investing at Presence Marketing, the nation’s top brokerage agency for the natural products trade. She also heads up Presence’s burgeoning portfolio of cannabis-hemp food, beverage and supplement companies and currently sits on the US Hemp Roundtable Board of Directors. Additionally, she is an operating partner in BIGR Ventures. From start-ups to Fortune 50 food & beverage, she works closely with brands to optimize their growth, profitability, and positive impact on people and the planet. During her 20-year career in natural products, Tracy has also worked for Earthbound Farm/ WhiteWave and for General Mills’ organic brands. In the service arena, Tracy leads graduate student projects at the Darden School of Business at University of Virginia and served for 5 years on the US Federal regulatory advisory committee for organic, the USDA National Organic Standards Board, including Chair of the Board. She lives with her family in rural Oregon where she makes craft wine and hunts for mushrooms.
Managing Director, JPG Resources
Jeff Grogg leads the entrepreneur life, and he’s driven to help others do the same. He has founded businesses in spaces ranging from athletic training to alcoholic beverages and contract food manufacturing to a new food venture fund. Jeff is mostly known as the Managing Director of JPG Resources, a team of over 40 food business builders with an 80% success rate in new product launches. This track record is driven by a deep understanding of founders and the dynamic food & beverage environment. Jeff leads from the belief that innovation and market success require more than experience – living within startups and growth companies is key. Prior to founding JPG in 2009, Jeff was an R&D leader at Kellogg where he helped grow Kashi from $25 million to $750 million in 9 years. More information on Jeff and JPG Resources is available at www.jpgresources.com.
Carol is the Editor of NOSH, BevNet’s media property focusing on Natural, Healthy, Sustainable and Organic food products. Carol previously worked and consulted for several consumer goods companies, many within the food space. She also was on the marketing team for Whole Foods Market in the North Atlantic region. Prior to focusing on the food industry, Carol worked at several tech companies, including HubSpot, and served as a consumer researcher at AMP Agency. A graduate of Brandeis University in Journalism, Cultural Anthropology and Theater Arts, Carol is passionate about the food, agriculture and beverage industries.
Prioritize Attending, This is a Commitment
While there are no costs associated with applying, Pitch Slam participants must be registered attendees for the conference. Only 5 brands are pitching, but more than 100 brands will be attending. Our editorial and marketing teams will be meeting with as many brands as possible at the event as well. We want to share your stories with our audience, the Pitch Slam is just one of the many ways to get there!
Pitching creates opportunities to have conversations with experts who can help answer your questions and partners who can help grow the business, but you can also find these opportunities through savvy networking at NOSH Live. The main stage and bootcamp content are focused on actionable insights in topics like growth, capitalizing your company, production and marketing.
If you pitch, your time is not always your own. We start by asking you to make a short, smart-phone quality video to show us who you are. There are presentation guidelines and deadlines. You will need to prepare ahead of your pitch and then receive instant feedback -- both positive and critical -- from the judges and the audience.
That said, no matter how well your pitch is received, most of the judges are available for feedback after and many are happy to maintain a relationship with participants. Pitching might mean you miss some valuable on-stage insights or a great conversation. There are trade-offs that will make the experience different than attending without pitching. It is worth the time and effort, but there is a lot of time and effort necessary to craft the winning pitch.