Fortunately, yesterday's Naturally Boulder's Pitch Slam had 25 companies with new natural products all vying for a $26,000 prize package -- and the chance to problem-solve.
While everyone loves a good Boulderites-are-hippies joke (here's one: When the crowd was getting rowdy, "Montessori circle!" was the cultural reference used to get the audience to settle down), many of the companies are actually based in other parts of the metro area.
Each company rep had three minutes before a panel of five judges to describe the problem and outline how their product was going to solve it. The judges were the presidents of Celestial Seasonings, Rudi's Organic Bakery and Horizon Organic, as well as the founder of EVOL Foods and Debbie Carosella, a brand innovation expert. The winner's prize package included $2,500 in cash, PR help, legal services and web consulting.
Here are five Pitch Slam solutions to pesky, First World problems:
5) You want chocolate but are on a dairy-free, gluten-free, no refined sugar, low glycemic, no caffeine diet. Normally, this is when you throw in the towel and say, "Hey, maybe chocolate isn't for me," but Jodi Feinhor-Dennis says Oh, Yes You Candy! Yep, that's the name of the company that produces carob in flavors like coconut, and almond with sea salt.
4) You went on a 5,000-mile motorcycle ride and got really banged up, but there are no organic first aid options out there. When Neosporin is just not socially and environmentally conscious enough, CELSUS Bio-Intelligence offers an organic choice. (When I get a burn, I know I can't use cream that isn't organic.)
3) Your kids are raw vegans who also live all-organic, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free lives. Now you can feed them cereal, tortillas and even cheesecake from Zaza Raw. And no, I don't know what's actually in these items -- especially not that cheesecake.
2) You want to eat quinoa but twenty minutes is just too long to wait for it to cook. Keen One Food's quick and easy quinoa is just what you need! These vegetarian options, in three flavors, take just a third of the usual prep time.As one judge noted, "Supergrains are ready to explode but this makes it easy for people."
1) While you're breast-feeding, you leak and traditional boob-diapers are unsustainable. The winning pitch of the night was for Bamboobies, handmade nursing pads that are made from fair-trade bamboo, organic cotton and hemp fabric.
Everyone whose life was just revolutionized, please raise your hand.