Road to Dempsey Sweet 16

For Class of 2022 UW Sales Program student, Clara Kobashigawa, her experiences in the Dempsey Startup Competition have both validated her decision to pursue the Sales Certificate and provided a link between her major in Communication and minor in Entrepreneurship. Clara’s company, Afterlife Listings “is an e-commerce platform that began as a way to improve the customer journey of purchasing a burial plot by increasing transparency on pricing, logistics, and product value. It’s like how families search for a house online by filtering through qualities such as price and location, families should be able to search for burial plots based on factors that matter to them.” Having recognized that in most situations purchasing a burial plot “happens under an extreme amount of pressure,” Clara and her teammate, Aiden Shev, “hope to streamline the process of purchasing a burial plot by empowering families to price search online,” and most importantly “we hope to give families more time back and ease the stress of this purchase, so they can be with one another during times of hardship.”

Now with only 16 teams remaining, the Dempsey Competition will resume on Wednesday, May 26th when the Afterlife Listings team will submit a pitch deck, a 15-page business plan, and present a formal pitch to a panel of seven judges. Reaching this stage of the competition
has been an honor, exciting, and overall, extremely rewarding. With teams competing from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska, and British Columbia, even just being selected through the screening round is an accomplishment. But now, as the competition progresses,
a final round of four teams will be selected from a judging panel comprised of local entrepreneurs and investors from the business community, all competing for prize money to grow the incredible companies born from this incredible competition. Since the Dempsey Startup Competition’s beginning, more than $1.61 million dollars has been awarded. Win or lose, Clara is grateful for the experience itself, noting how overall, “it’s been a great experience to network with other teams and get feedback from industry professionals.”

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