SteepleCats Continue Hot Start

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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- Scout Knotts went 3-for-5 with a double Sunday to lead the North Adams SteepleCats to a 5-1 win over Upper Valley at Joe Wolfe Field.
 
Nicholas Payero and Mason Ronan combined on the win on the mound.
 
Ronan started and struck out nine while allowing one run over four innings. Payero came on and threw five innings of scoreless relief to pick up the win.
 
Brian Picone and Paul Komisek each had a pair of hits in an 11-hit North Adams attack.
 
The SteepleCats (4-0) host the Valley Blue Sox on Tuesday.
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MCLA Innovation & Entrepreneurship Challenge Announces Three Winners

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Although this year's MCLA Innovation & Entrepreneurship Challenge, held May 4-8, was a virtual affair, the college community still came together to view and vote for the three finalists' pitches.

The finalists, all seniors who pitched their business ideas via video, were David Flight, Kimberly Granito and Sierra Lamonde. The students were coached through a series of deliverables — determining the solution to the problem, developing a budget and business plan as the roadmap for the project or business, and presenting before a panel of judges.

Granito’s "Detailing Dream" won first place, which came with a $7,500 award. Lamonde's "Pyrography Crafts" placed second, for a $5,000 award, and Flight's "Settling the States” won the $2,500 third-place award. The startup funding awards aim to cover inventory, equipment, and marketing costs for the three new businesses.

While this year's challenge was different than past events, Granito said the vollege made sure everyone had a good experience nonetheless. The sociology major, with minors in criminal justice and women, gender and sexuality studies, admitted to being a little intimidated going into the challenge because she wasn't a business major, but stressed that anyone could do it.

"It takes a lot of time to put a business plan together, but it was possible with the mentorship the challenge offers," she said. "It's such a great opportunity, even without the prize money, just learning the ins and outs of putting a plan together."

Her winning business, Detailing Dream, is a car detailing service meant to cater to people who may think they don't have the time or money for such a service. Granito's packages include lower-cost options that other companies don't offer because they usually cater to luxury cars. Unlike most of her competitors, Granito's business would also include a mobile option where she would come to the customer, so they could take advantage of the service without leaving their home or office.

"I was trying to cater to single women, single moms, and parents with kids who might be too intimidated to go to a big shop with all men," she said. "I'm a female in a very male-dominated career — society has deemed cars a man's hobby. It was empowering to be a female jumping into a male-dominated area."

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