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Laval Entrepreneur Mentor Program

October 24, 2014


Pitching Like A Pro

By: Makoto Saito

“Don’t let fear of success or failure guide your decisions.” – Vinni Hoke

On Friday, the Laval Entrepreneur Mentor Program students kicked off their meeting by having lunch from Jack’s Urban Eats, located in Fig Garden Village. The students had several varieties of sandwiches, salad, and potato fries. 

The Laval EMP students practiced pitching their subscription box businesses for their upcoming “Shark Tank” style competition that will occur on Friday, November 14, 2014. The first student to pitch was Tyler Turk. Tyler Turk recently won Fresno State’s Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization pitch competition. He will be pitching his idea at the CEO National Conference, held next weekend in Orlando, Florida. Tyler Turk’s subscription box is called “Date in a Crate” mailed each month containing items for the perfect date. With high energy, he shared the vision of the perfect date with the men and the women in the classroom. He stated his box would save “time, money, and stress”. 

One-by-one the Laval EMP students went in front of the class to present their pitches to the other students. The subscription boxes covered a wide variety of products, ranging from coffee and tea to recycled accessories. The pitches gave the students in the audience an opportunity to think critically and suggest areas of needed improvement to the presenter. Likewise, it also helped enhance the pitches of the students when they presented and encouraged them to consider facets of their businesses they had not already considered.

After the subscription pitches, the Laval EMP students switched gears and listened to two presentations from Daniel Dosher and Vinni Hoke on their entrepreneurial journeys.

Daniel shared how he was born into in an entrepreneurial family. His parents encouraged him to be an entrepreneur.  Daniel told stories of how Steve Jobs and Horacio Pagani inspired him to follow his dreams and passions. Daniel stated that one of the most important things he has found to help him stay focused and to help guide his vision is to always “write down the things that are important”.

After Daniel’s presentation, Vinni presented his entrepreneurial journey involving his two companies, “Twelve28 “and “QONTACT”. He shared his experiences and failures and told the students, “Don't be afraid of transformation (Change)”. Vinni started his entrepreneurial journey in 2009 with his clothing company Twelve28.  As Twelve28 began growing, he noticed Twelve28’s brand and spirit of the company had been lost. Vinnie decided to split the company into two separate companies, Twelve 28 and QONTACT. This allowed each company to focus on what it does best. Vinni left the students with some valuable words of advice: “Don’t be stagnant and always continue moving” and “Don’t let fear of success or failure guide your decision”. Vinni’s companies can be found at: Twitter: @QontactCreative and Facebook: