CU-Boulder startup wins in front of Shark Tank's Daymond John

June 12, 2014 •

Cory Finney (Fin ’12) and Christian Nitu (Mktg ’11), founders of SnowGate, won first place at a June 3 pitch event in front of a panel of judges including Daymond John of ABC’s Shark Tank.

SnowGate is a CU-Boulder startup that also includes Founders Matt Hoenecke and Nick Ramsey. It provides self-service storage for people in active-lifestyle environments such as ski resorts, parks and beaches.

The team of former Leeds School of Business students was awarded $20,000 for the win and will advance to the final round of the event -- called Miller Lite Tap the Future -- to be held in August in Chicago. There, SnowGate will compete for the grand prize of $200,000.

“I am not surprised that Christian and Cory won,” said Remy Arteaga, director of the Deming Center for Entrepreneurship. “Cory and Christian are smart, persistent and willing to learn - three great qualities.”

The company was one of 20 selected out of more than 2,000 that applied to pitch in the June 3 regional semi-final, held in Dallas.

Last year, Finney was a guest speaker at a middle school financial literacy course -- part of an academic-outreach program by the Leeds School. To read the story visit

The Deming Center for Entrepreneurship is dedicated to changing the world with entrepreneurship by empowering students through education, experience and community partnerships.