Chip Hanlon Remembered

Today is a day filled with heavy hearts here at the FoodChain Headquarters, as tragedy struck all to close this past week. You see during this past year, we have met many people who have helped FoodChain to get to this point. The outpouring of support we have gotten from both the University of Pittsburgh community and the Pittsburgh community has been overwhelming and I’m certain that this company would not be at its current point without all of that help.

On a personal level, I’ve had the joy of working directly with many of these individuals. Truthfully it is remarkable how many successful people have been willing to mentor me, without any direct reward other than helping a few young aspiring entrepreneurs.

One of those people was James (Chip) Hanlon.

I remember meeting Chip last year at a Pitt Startup Blitz event. He was going around and talking with the different teams in the event and when he came to us we were struggling to perfect our pitch for the final. He immediately gave us some fantastic advice on what to remove to shorten it and the rest was history from there. We would go on to be one of the winning businesses in that competition.

Shortly after, FoodChain joined Pitt’s business accelerator, the Blast Furnace, and our relationship with Chip grew. He mentored us throughout the 6-week program and became a good friend to everyone in the business at the same time. There were countless times that Chip took time out of his busy day to meet me, just to listen to a rehearsal of a pitch or to bullshit details of the business. His guidance was a big reason that we were able to complete the Blast Furnace as one of the winning teams in the second cohort.

Ultimately Chip joined the board of advisors here at FoodChain and was providing excellent guidance regularly. Just a few short months ago, he helped us perfect a new pitch for the Randall Family Big Idea contest, an event in which we were also a winning team.

Unfortunately though, Chip passed away this past week unexpectedly at just age 60.

Words will never be enough to truly express our gratitude towards everything Chip helped us with this past year and we will certainly not forget him anytime soon. The world lost a great person with his passing, but the influence he made during his time will go on forever in the hearts of the many young entrepreneurs he inspired.

“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” Abraham Lincoln

RIP James (Chip) Hanlon