Alex Hart-UpendoSTURTEVANT — Alex Hart-Upendo of Build-a-Bow won Tuesday’s Gateway Technical College Launch Box business pitch competition and will receive a $5,000 seed grant for his company.

The event was held at the SC Johnson integrated Manufacturing and Engineering Technology Center, or iMET, 2320 Renaissance Blvd. The entrepreneurs are part of Gateway’s Launch Box Accelerator Program, an effort to help them to start or grow their business. With tools and skills gained through an intense, 12-week business mentoring program, entrepreneurs competed for seed grants by making a 4-minute pitch to a panel of judges.

Upendo’s company specializes in tailored bowties and service to the community.

“I thought it was a great competition, and the 12-week cohort was very helpful, Upendo stated. He said the program helped him to better pinpoint his target market and make some changes to the price point of his products.

Erin Magennis, owner of CalmLet, a business that produces a wellness tool aimed at college female freshmen to regulate anxiety, won second place and received a $4,000 seed grant.

Read the full article here.