With the fall quarter in full swing at Northwestern, we are so excited to see some familiar faces at The Garage again. And as the students begin to trickle in and set up their workspaces, we were busy gearing up for our first big event of the year, Wildifre: The Showdown. The Showdown is the ultimate fast-paced, student-centered pitch off and a celebration of entrepreneurship across all of Northwestern. We invited three runner up teams from our summer pre-accelerator program, Wildfire, to go head to head in a winner takes all competition, pitching back to back to back for a prize of $2,000. And the best part? The winner was decided by an audience of peers. No judges. No Q&A. Just your favorite team taking home some no strings attached cash on The Garage. And we had a packed house of students to cheer on our teams, so we pulled out all the stops. We’ve had tons of yummy food, our favorite Spotify playlist going, and three excited student teams ready to take the stage. Want to get to know the three teams a little better? We did special profiles on each of the teams as part of Wildfire. Read more about each of the student-founded startups below their photos from their pitches, and check out our exclusive video with a peek behind the scenes this summer, where each of these teams got to talk about how Wildfire helped them grow.
Learn more about PedalCellAfter our three teams pitched, it was time for an audience vote. We had more than 150 voters! HotPlate took home the grand prize and a big check, just in time to promote their big launch across Evanston. If you want to help support HotPlate, they’re working with Evanston to co-host Big Bite Night this weekend!
Congratulations to all of the teams who pitched at The Showdown--after spending all summer at The Garage for Wildfire, this was the best way to showcase all of the hard work and dedication it takes to be a student founder. We can’t wait to see what this year brings.