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Moonshot Helping Communities Discover Local Innovators with 'Launchpad'


Moonshot Helping Communities Discover Local Innovators with 'Launchpad'

Pitch Competitions Helping Identify and Support Entrepreneurial Base

PR Newswire

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz., Aug. 14, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Entrepreneurship, by its very definition, can be a lonely endeavor. Often the people designing that new app, service or product are doing so from the privacy of their own homes, making it difficult for communities wanting to foster entrepreneurship to support their homegrown innovators.

Which is why Moonshot, a program based out of the Northern Arizona Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology (NACET), is helping communities ignite the entrepreneurial spark with Launchpad, a pitch events that encourage dreamers, disrupters, and innovators to take those next steps towards starting a business.

"Communities often know anecdotally that they have a hub of entrepreneurs, but their economic development professionals have difficulty even identifying who they are," said Moonshot President/CEO Scott Hathcock. "Our events bring them out of the woodwork, and we can help them transform those great ideas into a startups or scale-ups of existing businesses."

Launchpad has organized pitch events in several Western states over the past year. Structured like the popular television show Shark Tank, the contests offer cash and prizes to ambitious and often ground-breaking entrepreneurial ideas. Judges in the competition include local economic development experts, investors and a panel of experts from Moonshot, most of whom have started several successful businesses.

The events are geared towards designers, scientists, engineers, technologists and other innovators who have great ideas but lack the requisite business knowledge to bring their concept to market or attract investors.

Pitch competitions are typically two-day events, with the day before the competition devoted to workshops and panels led by Moonshot that help entrepreneurs refine their pitches, so they can demonstrate how their inspired idea fills an unmet need in the marketplace.

Participants also hear from Shark Tank winner Kiersten Hathcock, who says her appearance on the television show gave a huge boost to the company she founded, Mod Mom Furniture.

Communities are increasingly investing in these types of events because of their long-term benefits for local economies. "Entrepreneurs are the risk takers who are vital to a thriving community," said Scott Hathcock. "They are wealth and job creators. We're just helping cities find them and fulfill their potential."

To find out more about Launchpad and explore hosting a pitch event in your community, visit


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SOURCE Northern Arizona Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology

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