. @TheGrommet 's Product Pitch Competition features an inclusive toy for all kids, including kids with special needs: http://www.fastcompany.com/3027590/grommets-product-pitch-competition-takes-over-fenway-park

Gail Loos created the GreenCycler to help people compost more efficiently by shredding ingredients down to a smaller size. Doing so helps break down the materials at least 10 times faster, according to Loos. One of GreenCycler's biggest appeals is that it's dishwasher-friendly. "We’re taking the yuck out of composting by providing homeowners the tools to shred kitchen scraps without smell, mess, or hassle," she said.

Increment O-Rings

Maeve Jopson and Cynthia Poon, both recent graduates at the Rhode Island School of Design, created O-Rings after meeting a blind girl who had trouble finding toys she could play with friends. Their solution is a set of stackable rings that vary in size, weight, density, texture, and color. The kids can choose to play with them how they wish--stack them, toss them, roll them, build obstacle courses--and the toy helps them improve their motor skills.


For those who have difficulty keeping track of their belongings, there's BringTags. A mobile app called Bringrr can track these items on a smartphone, even reminding users if they've left them behind. "Think about the last time when you drove off without your phone, misplaced your keys, or ran around searching the neighborhood when your pet got out of the house," said Aldo Beqiraj, creator of Bringrr. "What if you were reminded that your wallet, briefcase, and laptop were back in the house before you drove away?"

Litter One

Though Natalie Robbins said she's always had cats as pets, she never liked having to clean the litter box. Drawing from this, she decided to create a biodegradable litter box. Because of its disposable nature, she is hoping to sell Litter One as a subscription service. "I knew that I couldn't be the only one to hate the chore, and I wanted to help other cat owners with the daunting task," she said. "I also wanted to give cat owners ease of mind when it comes to remembering to change the litter by offering a subscription service."

Decz Rainboots

The idea for Decz Rainboots came to Gary Short when he was at a shoe store and noticed the sheer number of designs for rain boots. "I thought why not a single boot with multiple designs," Short said. "This would be more economical and allow for creativity as well as declutter your closet."


Juneberry is a three-in-one bag: a shoulder bag, drawstring backpack, and messenger bag. Owners can change the look of their Juneberry bags by swapping out the cover. "I wanted to offer a purse that is as versatile as a woman's life, offering the variety that she needs for all the things she does," said Natalie Goodale.

Repel Gear

Repel is a microfiber car seat cover that can be easily removed and tossed in the washing machine. "People want a way to keep their car interiors clean when they come back from workouts or from a day with the family," said Edward Hess, who was inspired to create this because of his CrossFit workouts. "We've been showing it to people and they all say, 'Where was this in the 1980s?'"

Tray Bien

Flying in coach is never luxurious, but Laura Romero and Nik Valcic wanted to ease travelers' stress with Trey Bien, a flexible in-flight workstation that is easy to set up and collapse. Fitting over the tray table, Trey Bien stores mobile devices, magazines, headphones, and other miscellany. When a seat mate needs to get up to go to the bathroom, the traveler closes the tray using a bungee, keeping all items in place.

Tray Bien

For its second Product Pitch Competition, the Grommet, which curates under-the-radar products and launches new ones for its online marketplace, is taking over Fenway Park in Boston.

These Are The Winners Of The Grommet's Product Pitch Competition

Winners will receive mentorship and promotion from the Grommet, special coaching from crowdfunding platform Indiegogo, and a retail placement opportunity with Boston.com.

For its second Product Pitch Competition, the Grommet, which curates under-the-radar products and launches new ones for its online marketplace, took over Fenway Park in Boston.

On Thursday, eight finalists representing the products with the most Grommet community votes presented their ideas at the ballpark in hopes of bringing their mocks and prototypes to reality. The winners, Increment O-Rings (a toy that is inclusive for all kids, including children with special needs) and Ecotonix GreenCycler (a dishwasher-friendly composting appliance) will launch their products on the Grommet's platform and receive special promotion to its community of 1 million members.

"We're all about leveling the playing field and giving a national audience to the best products," Grommet cofounder and CEO Jules Pieri told Fast Company.

Indiegogo will give Increment O-Rings, which won the ready-for-crowdfunding category, a dedicated campaign coach and will also waive fees for its fundraising campaign. Maeve Jopson and Cynthia Poon, both recent graduates at the Rhode Island School of Design, were inspired to create O-Rings after meeting a blind girl who had trouble finding toys she could play with her friends who can see. The set of stackable rings vary in size, weight, density, texture, and color to help children improve their motor skills.

The winner of the ready-for-market category, GreenCycler, will receive $1,000 to use toward online marketing and a retail placement opportunity with event partner Boston.com. Gail Loos created the GreenCycler to help households efficiently compost by shredding ingredients to a smaller size, which she said can break down the materials up to 10 times faster. "With such a strong retail partner, we can begin to change people’s waste disposal habits and eventually reduce the amount of food scraps American send to landfills, which is staggering," she said.

Based in Somerville, Mass., the Grommet has launched more than 2,000 products since its founding in 2008. Last year, it held its first Product Pitch Competition, and the ready-for-crowdfunding winner, THINX stain-resistant underwear, raised $19,350 on the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo, launching on the Grommet in January. The ready-for-market winner Frogglez, special swimming goggles for children, is carried in swimming schools.

For this year's competition, the judges evaluated pitches largely by how they align with the Grommet's values. "One of the distinctions is we think is the DNA of the company and its values. We don't just think of the product. It's also about the entrepreneurs' stories and how they deliver it," Pieri said. Though she rattled off some of those values—new technology, problem solver, eco-friendly, domestically manufactured—noticeably missing on the judging rubric are criteria about a product's commercial appeal or profit margins. "We don't expect the judges to think about that as much," said PIeri.

Joanne Domeniconi, Grommet cofounder and chief discovery officer, said Increment O-Rings and GreenCycler won the competition because they had "extremely effective pitches that showed where there was a definite market need that wasn't met."

Take a look through the slideshow above to learn more about the eight finalists.

[Fenway Park: JASON TENCH via Shutterstock]

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