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MCLA Innovation & Entrepreneurship Challenge Announces Three Winners

NORTH ADAMS — The MCLA Innovation & Entrepreneurship Challenge, held virtually from May 3 to May 7, saw the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts community come together to view and vote for three winning pitches.

The finalists, who pitched their business ideas via video, were Lorenzo Cristofolini ‘21, Cristo’s Consulting; Jake Ferrara ‘21, Ferrara Lawn Care; Latisha Hargrett ‘21, Strong Shoulders; Austin Miller ‘21, Get Hooked Bait & Tackle; and Andrew Nygard ‘21, Wheels Now!

Miller’s Get Hooked Bait & Tackle won first place, which came with a $7,500 award. Hargrett’s Strong Shoulders placed second, for a $5,000 award, and Cristofolini’s Cristo’s Consulting won the $2,500 third-place award. The startup funding awards aim to cover inventory, equipment, and marketing costs for the three new businesses.

Judging was determined by three votes: one each from North Adams Mayor Tom Bernard and Zoar Outdoor founder Bruce Lessels, and 332 votes from the MCLA community, which counted collectively as the third vote.

To watch the business pitch videos, visit mcla.instructure.com/courses/3265819.

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