Kate McAleer has been named the winner of the inaugural Tory Burch Foundation Program’s pitch competition.

She was awarded a $100,000 grant investment for her business, Bixby & Co., based in Rockland, Maine, which produces American made organic and vegan friendly candy snack bars. McAleer was among the 10 women entrepreneurs who attended a three-day workshop at the Tory Burch offices in New York where they participated in a pitch competition to present their business plans before a judging panel of successful entrepreneurs and leaders.

“It was an incredibly tough decision because all of our fellows are quite extraordinary and delivered compelling presentations,” said Tory Burch, founder of the Tory Burch Foundation and chairman, co-chief executive officer and designer of Tory Burch, LLC. “We were extremely impressed with the quality of Kate’s product and her vision for growing her business. She has a big dream and bold ambitions; we look forward to seeing how she will use this investment to build on her success so far.”

Laurie Fabiano, president of the Tory Burch Foundation, added, “Kate has reinvented candy by making it just as delicious, but with less sugar and more natural ingredients and packed with protein. We are so proud of her hard work and we know she will be an incredible ambassador for other women entrepreneurs.”

McAleer said, “To win this national competition is a validator of tremendous hard work and focus to impact change and embrace my ambition to reinvent candy. Through this program I now have access to new doors to new networks and experiences that will impact growth. This is truly life-changing.”

She plans to use the $100,000 grant investment to expand her product line.

The Tory Burch Foundation Fellows Competition, launched in 2015, is a year-long Fellowship Program that offers women access to education, mentoring and networking opportunities. The initiative identified 10 women entrepreneurs to be Tory Burch Foundation Fellows and become ambassadors for other women entrepreneurs while providing an opportunity for them to compete for a $100,000 grant investment in their business.

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