White Girl Salsa wins pitch slam

BOULDER – A woman in a cowboy hat and jeans took home the Naturally Boulder “pitch slam” award worth more than $20,000 for her White Girl Salsa pitch to industry veterans on Thursday.

Winner Julie Nirvelli told local judges that her business plan shows her company, We Do Salsa LLC, grossing $1.3 million by the end of 2012. She said she has a group of “salsa slingers” to demonstrate her mild, hot and cranberry-mango salsas, which retail for $5.99.

More than 20 entrepreneurs – touting products from pizza to greeting cards – had two minutes each to pitch their natural products business ideas and startup scenarios to a panel of judges at the event on the University of Colorado-Boulder campus.

Judges Mo Siegel, a founder of Celestial Seasonings, Blake Waltrip of Celestial Seasonings, Bret Fund of the University of Colorado, Alex Cioth of Fresca Foods and Tom Spier of Spier Consumer Capital chose a winner from the pitches.

Community members chose other winners in the Naturally Boulder Fall Awards event in the evening. Bhakti Chai LLC received the Best Young Business award, Rudi’s Organic Bakery Inc. took the Company of the Year honor; Ramona Clark of Growing Gardens of Boulder County was the event’s Local Hero, and Steve Demos, founder of WhiteWave Foods Co. and NextFoods Inc., received the Lifetime Achievement award.

About 250 people attended the Naturally Boulder event. The industry group was started in 2005 as an economic development initiative by the city of Boulder and the Boulder Economic Council to solidify Boulder as the epicenter of the natural products industry. About 400 local natural or organic businesses call Boulder home, including Celestial, Rudi’s and Justin’s Nut Butter.

BOULDER – A woman in a cowboy hat and jeans took home the Naturally Boulder “pitch slam” award worth more than $20,000 for her White Girl Salsa pitch to industry veterans on Thursday.

Winner Julie Nirvelli told local judges that her business plan shows her company, We Do Salsa LLC, grossing $1.3 million by the end of 2012. She said she has a group of “salsa slingers” to demonstrate her mild, hot and cranberry-mango salsas, which retail for $5.99.

More than 20 entrepreneurs – touting products from pizza to greeting cards – had two minutes each to pitch their natural products business ideas and startup scenarios to a panel of judges at the event on the University of Colorado-Boulder campus.

Judges Mo Siegel, a founder of Celestial Seasonings, Blake Waltrip of Celestial Seasonings, Bret Fund of the University of Colorado, Alex Cioth of Fresca Foods and Tom Spier of Spier Consumer Capital chose a winner from the pitches.

Community members chose other winners in the Naturally Boulder Fall Awards event in the evening. Bhakti Chai LLC received the Best Young Business award, Rudi’s Organic Bakery Inc. took the Company of the Year honor; Ramona Clark of Growing Gardens of Boulder County was the event’s Local Hero, and Steve Demos, founder of WhiteWave Foods Co. and NextFoods Inc., received the Lifetime Achievement award.

About 250 people attended the Naturally Boulder event. The industry group was started in 2005 as an economic development initiative by the city of Boulder and the Boulder Economic Council to solidify…