As part of Target Accelerators ongoing commitment to providing education, network and resources, Target Accelerators sponsored the 8th season of Twitch Pitch, the new world way for startups to pitch real investors and get completely uncensored feedback, in real-time powered by Lightship Capital. This season, Forward Founders Cohort 1 companies participated and competed for a grand prize of $25,000.  In addition, the Target Accelerators team surprised the 2nd and 3rd place finishers, The XCJ and Hot N Saucy, with $10,000 and $5,000 respectively.

Read below for how Target Forward Founder Alumni and Sugardoh sugar mama, Aliyah Marandiz, is feeling after it all.

TT: Was Twitch Pitch your first pitch competition? What was going through your mind when you were announced as the winner?

Aliyah: This was my first pitch competition, and I was equal parts nervous and excited. When they announced the winner, I was deeply touched (I may have sweat from my eyes a bit). Of course, as a founder, I believe in the vision and mission of my company, but to see four other people who are well-versed in the CPG space and have overseen so many successful companies see that vision….it was affirming at a soul-level.

TT: What are your one-year plans/goals for Sugardoh?

Aliyah: We have a family of new Sugardoh products launching in 2022 and it’s taking all of my will power not to tell everyone I come in contact with. We’ve taken all the feedback from our customers to heart so the innovations and formulations we’re working on are definitely going to surprise and delight our community. In the coming year, we’d also like to see the beginning conversations of mass retail come into fruition so we can more easily meet our customers where they shop.

TT: What is some advice you would give to others in your shoes?

Aliyah: So much of the company you make is a reflection of yourself. You may want to pour all your energy into the day-to-day business activities, but you’re going to find that the biggest hurdles in the company are normally parallel to the hurdles you struggle with in your personal life. Make sure you are making each day better than the previous day in your personal life and you’ll see it mirrored in the business and your coworkers.

TT: What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned as an entrepreneur?

Aliyah: Community is everything when it comes to entrepreneurship. I felt like the Sugardoh community that I created was what spoke volumes to the investors during Twitch Pitch. And when I say community, it’s really the 100 people that are die-hard fans – the ones that believe in you as much as they believe in the products and mission. Keep those 100 people close and you’ll never lose sight of your goal.

Watch the season 8 finale of Twitch Pitch sponsored by the Target Accelerator team HERE. Want to stay in touch with the Target Accelerators team? Fill out this form to stay up to date with Target Accelerators news and announcements!