This post originally appeared on the Louisiana Technology Park blog.
Local entrepreneur Leah Haight’s upcoming mobile app to let users craft customized dolls took the $1,000 top prize at PitchBR‘s third competition of 2017.
Haight detailed the plans of her company, CuteNation, during the event, and she was joined by representatives of two other local startups: Noble Wave Brewpub, a planned bar and restaurant with a charitable mission, and Pojman Polymer Products, which develops and markets polymer products.
In addition to vying for the prize money, which was provided by the Louisiana Tech Park, the competing companies were able to get feedback from audience members and coaching from prominent business consultants and successful entrepreneurs. PitchBR events also give business owners an opportunity to develop connections to nonfunding resources, such as professional services donors and providers.
Judges for the event were Bill Ellison of nonprofit venture capital firm Innovation Catalyst, General Informatics founder and CEO Mo Vij, and Calvin Mills Jr., founder, CEO and president of CMC Technology Consulting. The event was held at The Pelican House Tap Room & Whiskey Bar.
Haight said in her pitch that the CuteNation app will let users choose from 500,000 possible design combinations for custom dolls, which will be recyclable and eco-friendly and cost about $20 each. Haight, who has experience in 3D modeling and game design, said the business will target girls ages 4-12 and their mothers, as well as collectors. The app will be free and available on iOS and Android, and the dolls will ship within five days of each order.
“The brand promotes inclusivity and love of self and others,” Haight said.