Tribe 12 Fellow’s Startup a Finalist in Forbes $400,000 Pressure Cooker Contest

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Morgan Berman, CEO of MilkCrate, an app connecting users with green businesses, will give a “Shark Tank”-style pitch before big-time entrepreneur judges.

Morgan Berman will find herself under immense pressure on Tuesday morning at the Forbes Under 30 Summit taking place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Center City Philadelphia.

As a finalist in the Summit’s $400,000 Pressure Cooker contest, Berman will have five minutes to pitch her startup, MilkCrate, an app that connects users with sustainable businesses, farmers’ markets and alternative fueling stations, to three big-name judges and a crowd of a couple thousand.

The prize if the local startup’s founder and CEO wins the contest?

An investment of $150,000 from judges Steve Case, Troy Carter and Forbes Media, plus $250,000 in free advertising and services from Forbes.

“I do feel some pressure, this will be, by far, the largest audience I’ve ever pitched to,” said Berman, who is also a participant in the Tribe 12 Fellowship, a social entrepreneurial program designed to help young Jewish professionals build socially conscious start-ups.

The Summit, taking place Oct. 19-22, brings some of the hottest up-and-coming entrepreneurs to Philadelphia for panel discussions, keynote presentations, parties and “Shark Tank”-style pitches in front of the world’s top venture capitalists.

Both MilkCrate’s app and a fundraising campaign to upgrade the app were launched on Berman’s 29th birthday on Aug. 24, and both have met with success.

The app now connects 1200 users to 2000 businesses and the fundraising campaign on the indiegogo website, has raised over $15,000 of its stated goal of $20,000, with four days remaining.

While Berman said that MilkCrate was on the right track even before being accepted as a contest finalist, the exposure has helped, as would the prizes if MilkCrate wins.

“The money is great, but also the support of Forbes and the advertising package that comes with winning — there’s just so much that would come out of that,” Berman said. She added that she applied for the contest under the wire and only received confirmation that they were finalists last Friday. “The exposure already has been fantastic, we’re already meeting with some potential investors and making a lot of traction, but this has just helped confirm our belief in what we’re doing and potential investors and supporters’ belief in what we’re doing — it’s just huge outside validation.”

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