Ouef White Bakeshop (Photo courtesy of Startup Tucson)

21 Local Entrepreneurs Graduate Startup Tucson’s Accelerator Program


June 10, 2024
By Matt Sterner

“Our Spring 2024 showcase was one for the books! We laughed, we cried, we ate yummy samples, and were creatively inspired.”

Earlier this month, Startup Tucson held its sixth accelerator showcase where 21 local entrepreneurs working in the creative and food industries showed off their products to the local Tucson Business ecosystem.

Plus, more than $3,500 was given in prize money to six winning graduates!

2024 Spring Showcase (Photo courtesy of Startup Tucson)

In total, there were 14 creative companies in the new Canvas group and then seven food entrepreneurs graduated from Startup Tucson’s Food Foward program.

Flora’s Market Run and Pueblo Vida Brewing sponsored the showcase, and Groundswell Capital’s Firestarter Grant provided the largest amount of prize money in the history of this event.

Both Canvas and Food Forward participants were eligible to win First Place, Second Place, and People’s Choice awards.

To determine First and Second place, a panel of three judges with industry-related expertise visited each entrepreneur’s booth and carefully reviewed their business models. People’s Choice was determined by who received the most votes from showcase guests.

2024 Spring Showcase (Photo courtesy of Startup Tucson)
Canvas
  • First Place went to Elliot the Potter, who makes pottery for people seeking a connection with art, the earth, and handmade goods.
  • Second Place went to Ashes to Light/SD Gallery, which lovingly transforms ashes into incredible paintings.
  • People’s Choice went to Align Wear, who has designed wearable fitness products designed for alignment, protection, and style
Food Forward
  • First Place went to Ouef White Bakeshop, who surpassed the judges’ expectations with her delectable French pastries.
  • Second Place went to Cycling Moon Cafe, which sold them on the business model for luxurious and ethically sourced chocolate with a story.
  • People’s Choice went to Chulas Cocina, a private chef specializing in Mexican and Caribbean flavors to honor the culture, traditions, and history behind the food.
Cycling Moon Cafe (Photo courtesy of Startup Tucson)

“When I walked into Food Forward my business was a hobby, I left as a business prepared for success and a new state of mind. Startup Tucson helped me create a concentrated vision and words for my pitch,” the owners of Cycling Moon Cafe shared. “These words helped me change how I present my company and also my direction. Looking back I see I was not grounded in my approach, I feel now so empowered and have direction. It’s such an important and strengthening position, it’s hard to explain how grateful I am!”

  • Chulas Cocina: We are a private chef service that offers a unique at-home experience of infusions of all diasporas. We specialize in Mexican & Caribbean flavors because we love to honor the culture, traditions, and history behind the food.
  • Cycling Moon Cafe: I make high-quality origin chocolate with a focus on health, responsible sourcing, and flavor innovation.
  • Desert Sun Sauce: We are passionate about crafting flavorful hot sauces that not only ignite your taste buds but also prioritize your health. Our specialty lies in raw, living, fermented hot sauces. We believe in the power of natural ingredients, big flavor, and no preservatives.
  • Ouef White Bakeshop: Elevate your brunch and any occasion with pastries from Ouef White Bakeshop. We help foodies and home cooks transform their boring meals into memorable experiences through French-inspired pastries with unique flavors.
  • Crazy Crumb: Crumb cake with a flavor twist for snacking outside the box.
  • Y la Tortillas: Tortilla factory dedicated to making nutrient-dense tortillas. Designed for specific purposes such as to support brain health, lower blood sugar, and natural body wellness. Infused with ingredients known for their anti-inflammatory properties.
2024 Spring Showcase (Photo courtesy of Startup Tucson)

To check out all 21 of the local businesses, visit startuptucson.com.

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