Young Alumni Entrepreneurs Looking to Make a Positive Impact on the World 

The St. Michael’s College School (SMCS) Alumni Association is once again providing its young alumni with a platform to make a positive difference in the world.

The association is set to host the third edition of the Archangel’s Den Alumni Entrepreneur Contest. The initiative welcomes alumni aged 30 and under to pitch their new business idea to change the world in hopes of winning the grand prize of $10,000.

SMCS Archangel's Den finalists meeting over Zoom in November 2020

The finalists for the 2021 Archangel's Den Alumni Entrepreneur Contest met on November 3, 2020 to discuss the new format and get to know one another.

“The event is designed to nurture, develop, and support the entrepreneurial aspirations of our young alumni,” says John Walsh ’73 Manager of Community & Learning Partnerships. “It provides contestants with access to valuable learning, mentorship, and networking opportunities.”

This year, the Archangel’s Den is presented by sponsors Crunch Media Branding & Communications Inc. and Lyn Group and will take place virtually on Thursday, February 18, 2021. Five finalists have been hand-picked by our judges to present at the contest.

“As an entrepreneur, the Archangel’s Den has a special place in my heart. I started my company in 1986, the year I graduated from St. Mike’s and have followed that path ever since. My appreciation for entrepreneurs is based on knowing what is required to get to the final product,” says John P. O’Neill ’86, Alumni Association President. “I admire anyone who has courage to forge their own trail. On behalf of the Alumni Association, I would like to wish the five finalists the best of luck and look forward to watching in February 2021.”

A team of five Archangel’s Den judges, Christina Blazanin, Steven Hellmann ’96, Giovanni Marsico ’95, Ralph Montemurro ’91, and lead judge Matt Gubasta ’13, received more than a dozen business plans or pitches from very talented young alumni.

Matt Gubasta ’14 at the 2019 Archangel's Den Alumni Entrepreneur Contest at SMCS.

St. Michael's College School alumnus, Matt Gubasta ’13 at the 2019 Archangel’s Den Alumni Entrepreneur Contest.

“I am thrilled to be returning for my second year as a judge. After seeing the caliber of innovation of the ventures that stepped up last year, I was excited to see what new ideas are coming to the Den,” says Matt Gubasta, Founder and President, RockMass Technologies. “Narrowing the field to the five finalists was incredibly difficult as each business had different markets and market traction. I am most excited to see how such a diverse group of ventures present their ideas and arguments for how each of their businesses will succeed and penetrate the market.  On behalf of the Archangel’s Den judges, we wish the five finalists' good luck as they prepare for the final competition.”

The five finalists who will be moving to the next stage of the contest are:

Erik Babinski '13 and Mandy Chan - Andi Bamby

Luca Bernardini '20 and Tyson Lowe '20 - Lucidity

Hanson Wong '12 and Mohesan Sreekuladevan - Plastic Flux

Siddart Fredrick '13 and James Kamelle - SHOUT!

Carter Sprigins '15 - Slapshot.ai

A notable change has been added to this year’s contest. Contestants will have access to a team of expert mentors who will work with them to prepare for the February presentation. A programme has been developed to move each contestant sequentially through established mentor categories via virtual meetings.

Steven Hellmann ’96 is one of the SMCS Archangel's Den judges in 2021.

This year will be Steven Hellmann's ’96 third year as a judge for the Archangel's Den Alumni Entrepreneur Contest.

The finalists will spend their final months leading up to the contest being mentored by Michael McCarthy ’88, the start-up mentor, Dante Vertolli ’11, the product mentor, Rowan Comish ’12, the technology mentor, Robert Bartucci ’96, the business mentor, and Brandon Sousa ’07, the pitch mentor.

Contestants will spend time in each category and meet milestones before moving onto the next mentor.

“It is a privilege to be returning to St. Mike's to help this year's Archangel's Den entrepreneurs,” shares McCarthy. “St. Mike's is well known for its development of leaders across a number of industries, but seeing the inspirational work of its graduate entrepreneurs gives me confidence that the future is being shaped within the spirit of Goodness, Discipline, and Knowledge.”

“The Alumni Association feel privileged to have experienced judges and mentors, new and returning alumni and community members, offering their expertise and time to work with the finalists over the upcoming weeks, helping them to prepare for their presentations,” says Stephanie Nicholls, Alumni Affairs Officer at SMCS.

“The Archangel’s Den is a great initiative led by St. Michael’s College School,” says Robert Celik ’14, the 2019 Archangel’s Den first-place winner. “I hope it encourages current students and alumni to try new things, take risks, and solve the world’s problems through entrepreneurship.”

Robert Celik ’14 with his mentor Dante Vertolli ’11 winning the 2019 Archangel’s Den at SMCS.

Robert Celik ’14 with his mentor Dante Vertolli ’11 after winning the 2019 Archangel’s Den.

Save the date and join us on February 18, 2021, as the finalists present their ideas virtually to the panel of judges. Three will be awarded prize money of $10,000, $3,500, or $1,500 to kick-start their businesses.

Click here to visit the Archangel’s Den webpage to learn more about this year’s finalists, judges, and mentors, along with past Archangel’s Den participants.