Pitch contests aren’t the final step in a startup’s journey, they can be the beginning of something incredibly impactful. Such was the case for Magbè Savané of Makomas.
In 2018, Magbè applied to an “All Ideas Pitch Contest” hosted by EforAll South Coast’s program in Fall River and New Bedford, MA. She says “I first heard about EforAll South Coast from a mailing list I was on.”
Magbè’s company manufactures and sells natural and organic food and beverage products that give back to African farmers who cultivate and harvest some of the raw ingredients.
“It’s a supply chain. We partner with 350 women in Burkina Faso, West Africa and they grow some of ingredients that we use in the products.” she says. “We’re creating jobs. Before this these women were walking for miles to find work. Now they can spend more time with their families and keep their children in school.”
EforAll Pitch Contests are fun, community-driven events where entrepreneurs have the opportunity to get feedback on their ideas, a chance to win up to $1,000, and learn about EforAll’s Accelerator Program. We like to call them “Shark Tank without the teeth.”
When asked about her experience pitching, she said that the immediate feedback was very valuable: “I put my juices and teas out for people to sample and get feedback. Not only could I showcase my product and my brand, but I was able to get feedback right away.”
Magbè was one of six businesses that were pre-selected to give a two-and-a-half minute pitch. She says: “The pitch was interesting because it was a small group but it was meaningful, we got to know each other, we could talk to the judges after the event.”
Magbè went on to win $500 at that Pitch Contest. She says, “That money was used to go towards our product development.”
Today, Magbè and Makomas are making a real impact. In 2016 Magbè went on to establish the Makomas Foundation, an organization committed to positively impacting the economic stability of women farmers in Burkina Faso, West Africa.
Magbè went on to enter the MassChallenge Accelerator program where PepsiCo awarded her the Food and Beverage Prize of $75,000 in October 2018. She was also accepted into the 2018-2019 Babson College WIN Lab cohort.
Today, Makomas is located in 35 retail locations, including several Whole Foods Markets.
Interested in applying to participate in a Pitch Contest? Click here!