Plymouth-based South Shore Dog Waste Removal, founded by Plymouth resident and U.S. Army veteran Nicholas Vardaro, was a finalist in the Mass Fallen Heroes Business Expo & Pitch Competition held May 25 in Boston.
The InnoVets Business Expo & Pitch Competition for veteran- and Gold Star family-entrepreneurs was hosted by Mass Fallen Heroes as part of their 10-day Patriot Week celebration May 21 through May 31.
The Mass Fallen Heroes InnoVets program is Boston’s first veteran- and Gold Star family-focused entrepreneurship accelerator program designed to connect, inspire and support veterans and Gold Star families as they establish and grow their businesses. In collaboration with sponsors like Hanscom Field Credit Union, corporations, investors, educational institutions and associations, InnoVets provides dedicated resources and opportunities to these entrepreneurs in Massachusetts.
“All of the veteran entrepreneurs who participated in the pitch competition were examples of the tenacious spirit that military life brings forth,” said Hanscom Federal Credit Union CEO Peter Rice. “It was a fantastic night that showcased inspiring business stories from five incredible purpose-driven leaders. It was truly moving to hear the stories of people who not only defended our freedoms, but who also want to carve out their own paths to prosperity in their civilian lives.”
There were 22 entrepreneurs who applied and the winners were:
- Lauren Ayube, a Gold Star wife, who won first prize and $12,500 for The Salem Plant Witch, LLC
- Erik Diedrichsen, U.S. Army veteran, who won second place with $7,500 in seed money for Riverbend Resources’ Poultry Pro Feeder
- Seth Jordan, U.S. Marine Corps veteran, who won third place with $5,000 in seed money for ServeDao
Mass Fallen Heroes will also unveil its plans and renderings for the future permanent home of InnoVets at the Sergeant First Class Eric Michael Emond Center for Excellence, a 5,600-square-foot space slated to open in November 2022, where entrepreneurs can launch, or continue to grow their ventures. For more information, visit www.innovetsboston.org.