Solely Jolie, a two-year-old company that sells a makeup brush-cleaning product, won the Pitch Pit competition at the fourth-annual Spin 66 Innovation Summit held Friday at The eFactory.
Spin 66 brings together entrepreneurs and innovators from across southwest Missouri to network, hear new ideas from peers and colleagues, and take part in activities that foster inspiration. Other Spin 66 activities included panels, speakers and parties, such as the an end-of-the-day happy hour, where Solely Jolie founder Amy Blansit was announced the Pitch Pit winner.
Blansit, a kinesiology instructor at Missouri State University, presented the product before a panel of four judges: Jason Arend, Zola Finch, Melvin Sims and John Helms. Blansit was one of five entrepreneurs who had six minutes to present in competition for $10,000 in cash and business services.
“Makeup is extremely messy,” Blansit said of the reason behind creating her product that keeps brushes from accumulating dirt and blemish-causing bacteria.
This morning, Blansit said the judges were impressed by her target market of women 15 years of age and older.
“One of the things that stood out to them was the market is huge for the product,” Blansit said.
Other startup presenters were:
• Apt Crowd, which encourages internet users to find better answers inside online forums via faster search tools;
• The Future, an entertainment retail concept to teach children the basics of building robots, flying drones and coding;
• The Wingman Harness, an apparatus for those with special needs to increase mobility and improve motor function; and
• RockDolly, an all-in-one public address system that combines a bass and guitar amplifier, mixer and effects rack for easy transfer.
During her pitch, Blansit said Solely Jolie retails for $15. The silicone product is currently manufactured in China, but Blansit hopes to move production to the United States, a move that would add antimicrobial and antifungal properties to the product. She also is seeking to expand her product into silicone sleeves for makeup artists.
“The first thing I’m investigating is working with a company like (Springfield ReManufacturing Corp.),” Blansit said this morning.
Blansit is currently working with Hotel Vandivort to test Solely Jolie in its rooms. She said hotel officials gave her expense data related to clothes that often get thrown away due to the makeup stains of guests.
“They gave us the market information we were trying to find,” she said.
Blansit also recently pitched Solely Jolie during The eFactory’s Demo Day
, the end of the business accelerator process of building and refining the startups and their minimally viable products. Apt Crowd also was a participant in the accelerator and Demo Day.
The winner for last year’s Pitch Pit competition
was Eagle Speak, an audio chat platform for businesses. Other participants were Logic Forte, Evolutionary Cuisine, Brandcards Inc. and LocalRaces.com LLC.