Aeolian Kitesurfing, New Haven, CT
Small business owner receives $2,000 award at pitch competition to develop manufacturing tooling
In August of 2015, Vlad Alexandrescu, owner of Aeolian Kitesurfing, was approached by overseas buyers interested in his products and design. Although Vlad was eager to expand his small business to the next level, he had never navigated the treacherous seas of international trade before, and sought out professional business advising to help him seal the deal. That’s when he contacted the Connecticut Small Business Development Center (CTSBDC) for support in developing his business to stand on the stage of global trade. He was referred to Jacqui Torcellini, the CTSBDC’s International Trade Specialist.
Working together with Jacqui’s professional and extensive knowledge, Vlad was able to learn about how to sell to buyers from all over the globe, while following international laws and regulations. He was even able to complete a successful Kickstarter campaign, raising over $10,000 in September of 2015 via the crowdfunding giant.
However, Jacqui went further to aid Vlad in growing his business. Jacqui highlighted key points in financing and refining Aeolian Kitesurfing’s sales pitch, combining her years of experience in the world of business with Vlad’s ingenuity and inventiveness to create a product that shined bright enough for the world to start taking notice.
Others did indeed take notice. In the beginning of 2016, Vlad was invited to a pitch competition in Bridgeport, CT hosted by CTNext, an organization that scouts out innovation, potential, and entrepreneurial spirit in Connecticut’s small businesses.
“I knew the CTNext pitch competition would be a great experience for Vlad,” Jacqui commented. “It was the first such competition he’d ever attended, but I had full confidence he’d secure the crowd’s attention and spread the word about Aeolian Kitesurfing.”
Indeed, Vlad won the Crowd’s Choice award of $2,000, having won the admiration of the audience and earning the most amount of votes. The $2,000 award went towards developing tooling to manufacture Aeolian Kitesurfing’s products.
Now, Vlad remains confident in the future of his small business, while still working closely with Jacqui to ensure the best possible outcomes for his products and company.
“I knew the CTNext pitch competition would be a great experience for Vlad. It was the first such competition he’d ever attended, but I had full confidence he’d secure the crowd’s attention and spread the word about Aeolian Kitesurfing.” -Jacqui Torcellini, CTSBDC International Trade Specialist