14th Annual Pitch Slam & Autumn Awards!




Check out the winning companies!


Pitch Slam Preliminaries
& Innovation Showcase

October 18, 3-7 PM @ Boulder JCC


Pitch Slam Finals
& Autumn Awards

October 19, 4:30-8 PM @ Boulder JCC

6007 Oreg Ave (Arapahoe Ave & Cherryvale Rd)


Registration has closed.
THIS event has already taken place.  

Announcing the Winners!

Breakout Brand of 2018 = Bobo’s
Industry Leader / Community Champ = Justin Gold

1st Place = Picaflor
2nd Place = Rooster & Lark
3rd Place = Coconut Cloud


October 18, 3-7 PM @ Boulder JCC

Pitch Slam Preliminaries & Innovation Showcase

3-4 PM – Mingling, Innovation Showcase, Pitch Slam Showcase
4-7 PM – Pitch Slam Prelims, Innovation Showcase, Pitch Slam Showcase

Naturally Boulder’s Pitch Slam: sponsored by New Hope Network


Pitch Slam Preliminaries

Our biggest event of the year begins when 20 entrepreneurs pitch their young companies to a panel of experts and 600 audience members. 2-minute pitch and 3-minutes of questions from the judges.  It’s inspiring and unpredictable. But the goal is the same: get to the finals!

  • 1st Place: Free booth at Natural Products Expo West, $5,000, suite of free business services
  • 2nd & 3rd Place: Suite of free business services

The Pitch Slam Companies

4:00 NB Intros
4:10 Yumbana
4:17 Boulder Sun
4:25 Blue Moon Goodness
4:32 Basis
4:39 Look Out Here I Come
4:46 Khala Cloths
4:53 Picaflor
5:00 BREAK
5:15 Unwrapp’d
5:22 Nytro Jack
5:30 Rooster & Lark
5:37 Coconut Cloud
5:44 Farm&Oven Snacks
5:51 Backyard Soda Co
5:58 Victoria’s Gluten Free Kitchen
6:00 BREAK
6:15 Rasa
6:22 On Tap Kitchen
6:30 Annabella
6:37 SteepFuze
6:44 Vukoo Nutrition
6:51 Good Trip Coffee

The Judges

THE INVESTOR – Luke Vernon, Managing Partner of Ridgeline Ventures
THE BUYER – Melanie Judge, Rocky Mtn Region Grocery Buyer, Whole Foods Market
THE CEO – Sarah Bird, CEO of Bhakti, Inc
THE SALES LEADER – Rich Clark, SVP of Sales at Perfect Bar
(See biographies below)

The Prize Pack

Over $100,000 in cash and services!

Naturally Boulder –  $5,000 Cash and Free Memberships
New Hope Network – Free Booth at Natural Products Expo West 2019
Danone North America – $20,000 in Booth Design with Condit Exhibits to Support Expo West Experience
Compass Natural Marketing – Free Authoring and Distributing Press Release to Support Expo West Experience
SPINS – Free Category Snapshot
Faegre Baker Daniels – Free Legal Services
Polsinelli – Free Legal Services
KO – Free Legal Services
Sunrise Strategic Partners – Free Strategy Session
Ridgeline Ventures – Free Strategy Session
BIGR – Free Strategy Session
Capital Value Advisors – Free Strategy Session
Bluprint – Free Strategy Session on Experiential Sampling
Fresh Ideas Group – Free New Product PR & Digital Campaign
Whole Brain Consulting – Free Consulting
Customer Marketing Group – Free Consulting
Amplio – Free Amazon and Digital Marketing  Consulting
Food Business Consulting – Free Services Tailored to the Winner’s Needs
NSF International – Free Non-GMO or Gluten-Free Certification
Notogroup – Free Organizational Design Consulting and Executive Search Support
Makeena – Free Premium Package: Loyalty and Engagement Platform
Bobo’s – Free Strategy Session: Early Stage Business Management
Hope Foods – Free Two-Day Intensive: Operations Management Advisory
1908 Brands – Free Mentoring: Sales, Marketing, Financial, Operations Management
KMG- Kinneberg Management Group – Free Half-Day Workshop with Analysts, Category Managers, Store Ops Groups
Primeflex – Free Credit: Labels, Flexible Film, Wrappers
Belmark – Free Pre-Press
ePac Boulder – Free Custom Flexible Packaging
Leapin Lizards Labels – Free Banner and Product Labels
Impact Hub Boulder – Free Membership


Innovation Showcase

Come see, taste, and experience 70 of the most cutting-edge innovations from our region’s natural products industry!

The Innovation Showcase Companies
34 Degrees
Alpine Start
Ardent Mills
Authentic Leadership for Naturals
Backyard Soda Co.
Beyond Broth
Binnie’s Coconut Butter
Birch Benders
Boulder Bake
Boulder Organic Foods
Boulder Sun
Casa Alvarez
Charlotte’s Web
Chef Soraya
Cocktail Squad
Colorado Label and Packaging
Daydream Dessert Co.
Deline Box
Empact Bars
ePac Boulder
Green Belly Foods
Growing Spaces
Hop Tea
Hope Foods
I and love and you
Inspo Network
Jackson’s Honest
Khala Cloth
Know Brainer
Little Secrets
McCauley Family Farm
Moxie Sozo
New Hope Network
Nytro  Jack
Organic India
Performance Tea
Punk Rawk Labs
Purely Elizabeth
Room 214
Rooster & Lark
Rowdy Mermaid
Seed Ranch Flavor Co.
Simple Startup
Telos Foods
The Brand Chefs
The Good Crisp Company
The Jackfruit Company
The Seaweed Bath Co
WishGarden Herbs
Yo Bucha


October 19, 4:30-8 PM @ Boulder JCC

Pitch Slam Finals & Autumn Awards

4:30-6 PM – Mingling, Pitch Slam Showcase, Cocktails, Buffet
6-8 PM – Keynote, Pitch Slam Finals, Autumn Awards


The magic of Naturally Boulder happens mostly in-person. This reception is an annual high point as we gather together the industry’s leading manufacturers, service providers, investors, retailers, and buyers.

We’ll delight you with an organic and natural buffet and passed appetizers, mingling, free drink tickets, and the Pitch Slam showcase rooms.



Blair Kellison is the CEO of Traditional Medicinals, an independent company that embraces sustainability, ingredient purity, and social and environmental activism.  Traditional Medicinals, a Certified B Corporation, is the leading seller of wellness tea in the U.S. and the pioneer of the wellness tea category in the U.S. and Canada.  Blair, a former CPA with Ernst & Young, worked as a brand manager at Nestle Foods. In 1995, he took a 70% pay cut and a huge risk that would become the best decision of his career — leave his business development position for a mission driven, all natural food company called Fantastic Foods. That bold move started him on the path of working in what he most believes in: mission driven, health and wellness companies.  He was CEO of Alternative Medicine, a multi-media publishing company, and he co-founded and helmed Natural Snacks.  Blair cites Traditional Medicinals’ reinvention of the standard business model as his inspiration, and is continuing the company’s fulfillment of its mission: connecting people to the power of plants.

Pitch Slam Finals & Autumn Awards

Pitch Slam Award
From the multitude of promising young brands achieving early successes, only one company will be recognized as the Naturally Boulder 2018 Pitch Slam winner! If you’re in the audience for the Finals, you’ll hear five Pitch Slammers…then you’ll vote! The audience vote carries the same weight as each of our other judges! And the winning company will receive a Prize Pack that can change the course of their business forever.

Breakout Brand of 2018 Award
This award will be presented to a Colorado-based company which, over the most recent 12 month period, has significantly raised its profile via breakthrough innovation, accelerated market performance, media buzz, philanthropic efforts or other means. Although we take into reasonable consideration a company’s long-term financial viability, we also place emphasis on the company’s product set, business model, and mission and purpose. Must have at least one person in organization who is a Naturally Boulder member.

Industry Leader / Community Champ Award
This award will be presented to an individual who has advanced the Colorado natural products community through deliberate and considerate advocacy, mentorship, and/or leadership. Consideration is given to the length and depth of commitment the individual has demonstrated to the Colorado natural products community. Must be a Naturally Boulder member.


Judges’ Biographies

Luke Vernon is Managing Partner of Ridgeline Ventures, a Boulder-based investment firm in natural foods and active lifestyle companies, as well as the Founder of Luke’s Circle, a site that helps emerging companies find talented professionals.  Ridgeline Ventures has invested in companies like Bobo’s, Bonafide Provisions, Beanfields, Cotopaxi and others.  From 2004-2013, Luke was COO of Eco-Products, the nation’s leading brand of sustainable foodservice products, when the company grew from $1 million in revenue to over $80 million before being acquired by a much larger company.

Melanie Judge’s plant-based lifestyle and passion for high quality natural and organic foods brought her to Whole Foods Market in 2003. She has worked in various stores throughout Colorado and Southern California and has been a transformational leader and tastemaker in the Produce, Floral, Whole Body and Grocery categories. She has been a Regional Grocery Buyer for the Rocky Mountain Region for the past two years and is responsible for supporting the local product experience in six local metro areas, including Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Idaho, Kansas and El Paso.

Sarah Bird has over 25 years of brand building experience and is fueled by a passion for doing well and doing good.  She is CEO of Boulder, CO-based Bhakti, Inc, a mission-driven, natural tea company devoted to craft brewed chai beverage, vibrant flavors and sustainability.  Prior to Bhakti, Sarah was Chief Sales and Marketing Officer for Three Twins Organic Ice Cream and before that, Chief Commercial Officer for Ecologic, a sustainable packaging company.  Sarah was CMO at Annie’s, Inc. from the time Annie’s was a small mac and cheese company through its IPO and to the General Mills acquisition.  Sarah began her career with marketing roles at Frito Lay, followed by Nestle and then PowerBar.  Sarah recently completed three terms (nine years) on the Organic Trade Association’s Board of Directors.   She is currently on the board of Just Label It/Organic Voices, an organization focused on federal GMO labeling and Organic Messaging.

Rich Clark is a results-proven, 30+ year veteran of the natural and organic product industry with a progressive track record of executive sales and marketing leadership in established, rapid growth, and entrepreneurial companies.  Rich has maintained sales leadership positions with companies such as Celestial Seasonings, Udi’s Gluten Free, Boulder Brands, Beyond Meat, and Ancient Harvest.  In September of 2015, Rich was recruited by Perfect Bar to lead their sales team and was responsible for building a category-management story around fresh snacking and expanding distribution in 20,000 fridge sets, nationwide, including conventional, mass, club, food service and convenience channels.

Past Winners


Pitch Slam: Picaflor
Breakout Brand: Bobo’s
Industry Leader / Community Champ: Justin Gold

Pitch Slam: The Honest Stand
Breakout Brand: Goddess Garden
Industry Leader / Community Champ: Sylvia Tawse

Pitch Slam: Frau Fowler
Breakout Brand: Lucky’s Market
Industry Leader / Community Champ: Jane Miller

Pitch Slam: Wild Zora
Breakout Brand: Quinn Popcorn
Industry Leader / Community Champ: Steve Hughes

Pitch Slam: Appleooz
Best Young Business: Noosa Yoghurt
Company of the Year: Boulder Brands
The Lance Gentry Breakthrough Innovation Award: Quinn Popcorn
Lifetime Achievement: Joan Boykin

Pitch Slam: Compo Keeper
Best Young Business: Alfalfa’s Market
Company of the Year: WhiteWave Foods Company
Local Hero: Bryce Winton Brown
Focus on the Future: Silk
The Lance Gentry Breakthrough Innovation Award: Goddess Garden
Lifetime Achievement: Mo Siegel

Pitch Slam: Dressed Up Salad Dressing
Best Young Business: Boulder Soup Works
Company of the Year: Door to Door Organics
Local Hero: Joan Boykin
Focus on the Future: Teatulia
The Lance Gentry Breakthrough Innovation Award: Cheribundi
Lifetime Achievement: Paul Repetto

Pitch Slam: Bamboobies
Best Young Business: New Planet Beer
Company of the Year: EVOL Foods
Local Hero: Chef Ann Cooper, The Renegade Lunch Lady
Lifetime Achievement: Hass Hassan

Pitch Slam: White Girl Salsa
Best Young Business: Bhakti Chai
Company of the Year: Rudi’s Organic Bakery
Local Hero: Ramona Clark, Growing Gardens
Lifetime Achievement: Steve Demos

Pitch Slam: Goddess Garden
Best Young Business: MIX 1
Company of the Year: Eco-Products
Lifetime Achievement: Mark Retzloff

Pitch Slam: Sticky Fingers Cooking

Pitch Slam: “Under Research”

Pitch Slam: Phil’s Fresh Foods (later changed to EVOL Foods)

Pitch Slam: “Under Research”