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And the Winner of September's Big Gig was...

Tuesday evening we hosted our first virtual Big Gig Pitch-Off of the 2021/2022 season, and it sure was a good one to watch!

The first entrepreneur of the night was Brenden Westin of DuraBike. DuraBike has created a bike fleet solution for those with chronic breakdowns, poor performance and expanding service costs. Our second entrepreneur was Lee Sowles, pictured right, of Kind Mind, a social and emotional learning (SEL) curriculum for elementary schools that promotes compassion and resilience for the whole community. Our third and final entrepreneur of the night was Josh Fox, pictured below, of Tidal Bore, which developed Survue, a bicycle taillight which harnesses AI to detect hazardous drivers and warn the motorist and cyclist of one another.

In addition to our pitchers, we had three amazing business professionals judging the event and giving constructive feedback to the entrepreneurs. Our panel of judges included Josh Hayward, Co-Founder of PracticeOn (acquired); Karen West, SBIR/STTR Consultant for Maine Technology Institute; and Jason Clay, Director of Operations for Governor's Restaurants. While the judges deliberated, our "Big Rig" guest speaker, Justin Hafner, CEO & Co-Founder of KinoTek, had a Q&A session with our host, Renee Kelly, where he talked about his entrepreneurial journey, how he went from a Big Gig Finalist to leading one of Maine's up-and-coming startups, and where he hopes to see KinoTek in five years.

After the virtual audience and judges voted for their favorite entrepreneurs, Brenden Westin of DuraBike was named the winner and received the $500 sponsored by Bangor Savings Bank! He will move on to pitch in the Finale for $5,000 in April! Thank you to our Bootstrapping Sponsors, Maine Technology Institute and Eaton Peabody, and other awesome sponsors, to our fantastic judges, and everyone that tuned in to watch!

Be on the lookout for our next Big Gig Pitch-Off Finale on November 16th!

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