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New Beverage Showdown 18: Semifinalists and Judges Announced

We can’t wait to kick off BevNET Live next week with New Beverage Showdown 18, our centerpiece competition of the two-day event. In just 5 days, 12 innovative beverage brands will take the stage to pitch their business plans to a panel of expert judges and the 800-plus beverage professionals in the crowd. It’s time to reveal the contenders.

The New Beverage Showdown, sponsored by Venturing & Emerging Brands (VEB), an operating unit of the Coca-Cola Co., is the beverage industry’s leading pitch competition. By providing a platform for the hottest beverage brands to share their journey, participants benefit from exposure and expert feedback, and the audience benefits from live case studies examining innovation and marketing strategies.

The semifinal round holds the first spot on the BevNET Live program from 8:00 a.m. PT to 9:30 a.m. PT on Monday, December 9th. Twelve startup beverage brands will be centerstage, presenting rapid fire elevator pitches to the semifinal judges for immediate feedback and commentary. During the semifinal round the BevNET Live attendees and livestream viewers will also have a say. The fan favorite receives a guaranteed seat in the finals and the tally will be utilized to assist judges in their decision-making. The six finalists will then be announced at 12:15 p.m. PT

The final round of pitches will be the following day, Tuesday, December 10th, and consists of a more in-depth pitch, on-stage sampling of products, and interactive Q&A with a new group of judges. The judges of the finals will pick the winner, which will be announced at the end of the day.

The semi-finalists encompass a variety of hot ingredients and trends including probiotic, ayurvedic, mushroom-infused, CBD, adaptogenic, caffeinated and sparkling beverages:

The expert feedback participants receive from the judges can change the trajectory of their businesses. This time around, the two slates of judges will bring decades of industry experience to the stage, ready to provide their perspectives as investors, retailers, brand builders and respected advisors.

Semifinal Round Judges:

  • Mike Schneider, CMO, BevNET
  • Bill Ford, Group Director, Venturing & Emerging Brands
  • Fred Hart, Creative Director/Partner, Interact
  • Polina Chebotarev, Vice President/Partner, Cambridge Companies SPG

Final Round Judges:

  • John Craven, CEO, BevNET
  • Kellam Mattie, VP of Marketing and Innovation, VEB
  • Ken Sadowsky, Advisor, Verlinvest
  • Mark Rampolla, Founder, Zico; Managing Partner, Powerplant Ventures
  • Julie Terrazzino, Sr. Category Manager for Beverages, KeHE

Beyond being the star of the show, the winner of New Beverage Showdown 18 will be awarded a $10,000 awareness-building advertising package. Past victors include CANN, Hoplark Hop Tea, Health-Ade, MALK, Tio Gazpacho, Rise Brewing Co., Simply Soupreme, Bear Squeeze and Grady’s Cold Brew.

There are limited tickets left for the biggest BevNET Live yet. More than 800 beverage industry founders and executives will be at the Loews Beach Hotel in Santa Monica, Calif on Dec. 9 and 10. Time is running out to register, so don’t delay.

Questions about the conference can be directed to Jon Landis. Sponsorship opportunities are available for companies looking for additional industry exposure.

About BevNET Live

BevNET Live Winter 2019 will return to the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel in Santa Monica, Calif. on December 9th and 10th. A Beverage School for industry newcomers will also be held on Sunday, December 8th at no additional cost.

BevNET Live is the premiere event for beverage brands, distributors, service providers, retailers and investors to discuss what’s next for the industry. With the industry’s foremost speakers and our New Beverage Showdown, BevNET Live attracts hundreds of brands to each event.