For the second year in a row, a senior project from APU won the Perfect Pitch competition at UAA’s College of Business and Public Policy.
Perfect Pitch is an annual event that connects student entrepreneurs with Alaska investors. The 2022 event took place April 8 at the Anchorage Petroleum Club. Trixie Bennett ’21 flew up from Ketchikan alongside her daughter, Alaskan Wildlings LLC owner Ali Ginter, as one of four finalists. They flew home with $11,000 in winnings, including the Grand Prize ($8,000), Sustainability Award ($2,000) and First Fortune 500 Award ($1,000).
Alaskan Wildings LLC is a cloth diaper company based in Ketchikan. Though the idea belongs to Ali, her mother Trixie guided the company’s growth with her business background from APU. Trixie focused on the company for her senior project last year and condensed that hour-long presentation into a five-minute pitch for the UAA competition.
With the tagline “absorbable, adorable, affordable,” Alaskan Wildings provides parents with everything they need in a cloth diaper. As a parent, Ali saw many cloth diapers were
too bulky, too leaky, or too uncomfortable. “Not one diaper had all these things that all these moms wanted,” Trixie said.
Ali designed a diaper that adjusts all the way through potty training and can be fitted for the next kid in the family. The design is patent-pending and they’re in talks with Babyvend, a nationwide network of baby product vending machines. While in Anchorage, they also met with alumni-owned Tiny Ptarmigan about carrying their products. Trixie’s research indicates cloth diapers provide a savings of $2,000 per child.
Importantly, Alaskan Wildings has a small network of moms representing the company nationwide. It’s an avenue for sales, but also for mentorship. As the Tribal President of the Ketchikan Indian Community,
Trixie knows the value of supporting business leaders. APU professors provided Trixie with skills to share with her Tribal community, particularly “the value of business planning as a tool,” she said.
Thanks to flexible business courses, Trixie completed her APU degree remotely from Ketchikan. The trip to Anchorage for Perfect Pitch was a nice reminder of the city’s supportive business community. “It was an amazing thing to experience,” she said of the Perfect Pitch competition. “I’m really grateful for it.”
As Alaskan Wildings grows to a commercial-scale operation, Trixie will continue supporting her daughter and other Alaska Native entrepreneurs.
“I encourage everybody I talk to who’s looking for a business degree to look at APU, especially if they’re Alaska Native or work with Alaska Native people,” she said. “It’s a great place to learn and network and grow.”
Click here to learn more about Alaskan Wildings and see their line of colorful cloth diapers.
Click here to read about last year’s Perfect Pitch winner, Outdoor Studies grad Kiana Till ’21, and her plan for an Indigenous-owned travel company in Qizhjeh Vena (Lake Clark National Park and Preserve).