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2015 SVP Fast Pitch Winners

Posted by Julie Pham

The 2015 SVP Fast Pitch Final Showdown took place at McCaw Hall on Tuesday, Oct. 27. Here are the winners from the 2015 SVP Fast Pitch program. More than $400,000 in grants, investments, prizes and in-kind contributions were awarded and there were over 900 who attended, making it the largest Fast Pitch ever!

Tanikka Watford of Deep Roots Food (above) took home a $130,000 investment, the top prize for a for-profit (photo by Eugene Hsu).

Check out the winners and their pitches below, and get to know a few of our finalists a bit better in this interview by Geekwire’s Lisa Stiffler, plus this great piece by Jerry Large in The Seattle Times. You can also catch all 14 finalists’ pitches on our YouTube Channel.


IntelliH2O’s Christopher Lee won first place in the High School Venture category for his low-cost water purity tester app.


SafeWheel’s Shaurya Aggarwal won second place in the High School Venture category for his innovative product to prevent drunk driving.

TK Threads

TK Threads’ Austin Harris won first place and $5,000 in Microsoft’s University Venture category for his company that empowers formerly oppressed women through long-term employment in apparel manufacturing.

JikoPower Inc.

JikoPower’s Ryan Ahearn won second place and $2,000 in the University Venture category for his carbon-neutral off-grid energy solution that turns cook stoves into personal power stations. He also took home the Grayling Master Storyteller Award and an additional $2,500.

Prison Scholar Fund

Prison Scholar Fund founder Dirk Van Velzen won first place and $20,000 in the Startup Nonprofit category and well as the Most Improved Award. The Prison Scholar Fund supports incarcerated students, helping them to develop the skills they need to enter the workforce upon their release and reduce the likelihood that they will ever return to prison.


M.U.S.T. – Mentoring Urban Students and Teens founder Rick Newell won second place and $7,500 in the Startup Nonprofit category, plus $5,000 for the Audience Choice Award, and $5,000 for the Impact Donor Award. M.U.S.T. helps break the cycle of poverty by filling the void of positive male role models in the urban core.

Salish Sea Expeditions

Salish Sea Expeditions‘ Seth Muir won the First Place Award and $27,500 in the Established Nonprofit category to help buy a bigger boat. That boat will help inspire more students to develop critical thinking and creativity through student-led scientific research on Puget Sound. He will also receive consulting services from Grow 50.

Statehouse News Project

Statehouse News Project’s Jason Alcorn won second place and $10,000 in the Established Nonprofit category, plus the Comcast NBC Universal Technology Innovation Award of $2,500. In his pitch he shares how the Statehouse News Project empowers citizens to fund and direct unbiased capitol reporting, giving communities the information they need to advocate for change.

Deep Roots Foods

Deep Roots Foods’ founder Tanikka Watford won first place in the For-Profit category, walking home with $130,000 in investments for her small batch food processing and co-packing facility. She also won the Outerwall Commitment to Diversity Award of $2,500 and consulting services from Grow 50.

Play Works Studio

Play Works Studio’s Adiana Moscatelli shared her company’s unique robot games that encourage children to discover a passion for science and technology and won second place in the For-Profit category with $75,000 in investments. She also won the $10,000 Microsoft Award for Technology for Good and consulting services from Grow 50.

Vitruvian Energy, SPC

Vitruvian Energy’s Zack McMurry won the $2,000 second place Audience Choice Award for his company’s innovative technology that converts municipal sewage into biofuel that can be used in existing car engines.

21 Progress

While not on stage, Fast Pitch semi-finalist 21 Progress deeply impressed the Women’s Funding Alliance and they won the $5,000 Award for Girls & Women.

Angel Checks and Additional In-Kind Prizes

In additional to the awards given on stage, 26 lucky Fast Pitch audience members were given $500 or $1,000 checks that they could award to any Fast Pitch finalist or semi-finalist. Plus, Fast Pitch contestants were awarded a number of great in-kind prizes, including:

  • Deloitte provided two hours of one-on-one business advice on issues and needs (e.g., tax, risk, strategy, operations)
  • Amazon provided quarter finalists, semifinalists and finalists get service credits from Amazon Web Services as well as access to support, training and other benefits
  • The Impact Hub provided $715 in credit for all 14 finalists, which be used toward membership.

Thank You to Our Amazing Volunteers!

Fast Pitch is almost entirely run by an incredible team of volunteers. Thank you to the hundreds of people who made this event possible! And in particular, thank you to our fearless Fast Pitch leader, Maureen A. O’Hara!


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