Students Pitch Start-Up Ideas


In mid-January, 21 Lewis & Clark students immersed themselves in the study of entrepreneurship and leadership through Winterim, a fast-paced and supportive experience where students collaborate in small groups to research, create, develop, and pitch a venture. More than 50 professionals—including a number of Lewis & Clark alumni—serve as speakers, mentors, and judges during the weeklong program.

After four days of virtual learning, brainstorming, prototyping, debating, networking, and rehearsing, students presented their start-up ideas at Winterim’s annual pitch competition.

The Winning Pitch: “Farmarketer”

Farmarketer, a produce distribution company, is designed to act as a two-way marketplace in the Willamette Valley, with a focus on getting produce directly from small and midsized farmers to markets, including local grocery stores and restaurants. It was conceptualized by environmental studies major Aidan O’Connor BA ’23, psychology major Andrew Steinberg BA ’21, and Hispanic studies major Jo Tabacek BA ’20.

Ideas Advancing to Statewide Competition

Two teams won entry to the Invent Oregon Collegiate Challenge, a competition for college and university students from across Oregon who will go on to compete for $25,000 in prizes to fund their innovative ideas. (See related story on page 5.)

“Alpha Mask”—A face mask, created by three L&C student athletes, that allows athletes optimal breathing capability while maintaining maximum comfort. Team members: Nick Lombardi BA ’21 (political science), Shane Lynette BA ’23 (rhetoric and media studies), and Hayden Moses BA ’22 (physics).

“Bulle Voyage”—A high-quality customizable shampoo and conditioner that comes in tablet form in refillable bottles. Team members: Grace Ralston BA ’21 (economics), Kyle Rauzi BA ’22 (psychology), and Cameron Stewart BA ’23 (rhetoric and media studies).

“This was my first Winterim, and I look forward to doing it again,” says Lynette, a member of the Alpha Mask team and a native of Bellingham, Washington. “I’ve never participated in such an immersive program that teaches us so much while simultaneously giving us the resources and guidance to pursue our own ideas.”

Winterim is a program of the John E. and Susan S. Bates Center for Entrepreneurship and Leadership. Open to all class years and all majors, the Bates Center is designed to help students translate their liberal arts training into leadership for impact.