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June 13, 2016

Bixby founder wins Tory Burch Fellowship pitch competition, $100K grant

File Photo / Peter Van Allen Kate McAleer, founder of Rockland-based Bixby & Co.

Kate McAleer, the owner of the Rockland-based craft candy bar company Bixby & Co., has been named the winner of the inaugural Tory Burch Fellowship Program’s pitch competition, and was awarded a $100,000 grant investment for her business.

“Winning the $100,000 investment is truly an honor and I thank Tory Burch, the entire Tory Burch Foundation and the judges, for this incredible opportunity,” McAleer said in a statement about the honor. “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.”

Launched in 2015, the inaugural Tory Burch Foundation Fellows Competition is a year-long fellowship program offering 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 to compete for a $100,000 grant investment in their business.

McAleer founded her organic chocolate bar company in 2011 and has won numerous awards, including Gorham Savings Bank's 2013 LaunchPad competition, the Small Business Administration's Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2015, a Local Producer's loan through Whole Foods Market and a Mainebiz Next award.

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