I’m sitting in the Louis Armstrong International Airport at New Orleans, waiting for Connor’s flight to arrive, gearing up for a rigorous two days of prep work for an action-packed month in June when we’ll be part of 4.0 School’s 11th Launch Cohort. Our journey here has been interesting.

It all began in early November of 2014…

We were pitching for the phase 2 milestone of the CUNY Student Incubator and I was standing in front of four judges who would decide Pomegranate Lab’s fate. I like to describe our experience as a mixture between Shark Tank and Survivor. It was absolutely brutal. Many of the other teams that went before or followed after were torn to ribbons during this Q&A where details and inconsistencies were scrutinized without reservation.

The only catch? Each judge could only ask ONE question.

When my turn came, I pitched like I’ve never pitched before. There was laughing, crying, even an “oh captain my captain” from the audience (one or more of these happened only in my mind). After my short six minute pitch, I stood before the judges awaiting their questions and judgement. I don’t think I’ve ever been as truly nervous in my life.

The first judge pondered for a moment and then asked his question, “Have you ever heard of 4.0 Schools?” I was totally confused. “No? Is that your question?” It turned out that was indeed his question.

“I’ll definitely connect you to them.”

They say life is a series of chance encounters and you never know how any of them are going to pan out. On that rainy day in November, our chance came from a judge who spent his only question thinking about our bigger picture instead of looking only at our present.

And now, we are here, excited to take the next step.

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