It took a long seven months to get here, but I’m super excited to share that Lunnie placed first in the Flyer Pitch competition and received the top prize of a $50,000 grant!
I'm 30 weeks pregnant with my third daughter so I've been growing a baby alongside my business baby while competing. It's been a hard-earned journey and I'm proud to make competition history as the first pregnant winner too!
The competition began in October 2021 with over 120 applicants. Over the course of three rounds, the field narrowed down to 5 startup venture track finalists competing for over $100k in grant money.
My final in-person pitch was 30 minutes long in front of eight impressive judges and a public audience. Talk about intimidating! Even standing for 30 minutes straight was a feat in itself given the state of my pregnant belly.
But I did it and I pitched my heart out. As we slowly come out of this pandemic, this really is a moment to invest in mothers. I’m grateful the judges saw the same opportunity I did with creating a pretty + powerful postpartum brand for moms, starting with the nursing bra.
Thank you to Vincent Lewis - President of the Hub, Scott Koorndyk - President of The Entrepreneurs Center, and Trevor Collier - Dean of Business Administration at The University of Dayton.
I found out the results three days later at an in-person banquet for the Dayton entrepreneur community. Sitting in the audience and hearing the presenter announce Lunnie as the first place winner is a moment I’ll never forget. I did everything to hold back my tears. It took a ton of hard work and sacrifices to earn this.
As a solo entrepreneur, it can be lonely bringing your vision to life on your own. There are times I question what the heck I’m doing. Especially during this busy season of life raising two little girls while pregnant with my third. To have others I respect validate Lunnie means the world and keeps me moving forward.
Thank you Flyer Pitch judges for this transformational $50,000 grant for my business, which is compromised of a $25,000 grant from Flyer Pitch and $25,000 grant from Ohio's Entrepreneurial Services Services Provider program. I’m grateful to the University of Dayton, Crotty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, PNC Bank, and the Entrepreneurs Center for this opportunity, as well as the organizers and judges. Congratulations to the other finalists - it is an honor to be in your company.
My amazing EIR and advisor, Katie Hill.
Thank you to my all-star team of advisors who helped prepare me for this competition. Anusha Mohan, Katie Hill, and Nancy Hayes - I’m forever grateful for your guidance. Thank you to the Stitt Scholar team at the University of Dayton for putting the data behind the Lunnie bra.
Thank you to my husband Mike for your unrelenting support as I chase my dreams, even when that means our house is covered in nursing bras. And my two daughters (almost three!) for constantly motivating me.
Most importantly, thanks to this amazing Lunnie Hive community of moms for your continued support! Together, we’re bringing this dream of improving postpartum to life through better products and community support.
For the full press release from the University of Dayton, read here.
Flyer Pitch is one of the largest new-venture contests at the collegiate level, with more than $150,000 in cash prizes and $50,000 in in-kind prizes. It is operated by the University of Dayton's L. William Crotty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and the Greater West Dayton Incubator in partnership with PNC Bank, the Entrepreneurs’ Center and Bandila Studios.