Small Business News

Pitch It and Win It Competition is Just Around the Corner
Preparatory training event planned for August 23rd
Published: Thursday, August 10, 2017
By: Shaun Sappenfield

In April, StartUp Jefferson City hosted the fourth annual Encouraging Entrepreneurship event at the Capital Event Center to offer budding entrepreneurs an opportunity to receive free business counseling.  The event was well attended and offered participants an opportunity to engage business professionals in a one-on-one format.  The Encouraging Entrepreneurship event was the first of three scheduled small business outreach sessions in 2017. 

On August 23rd, StartUp Jefferson City is offering a preparatory training session to help mentor entrepreneurs in the development of their pitch presentation.  The session, Pitch It Prep, is free to attend and open to the public. Participants will learn how to effectively address each of the seven criteria topics used by judges to score the Pitch It & Win It presentations. 

“StartUp committee members wanted to offer a third outreach session to help identify and engage local entrepreneurs,” said Donna Deetz, local entrepreneur and StartUp Jefferson City committee member.  “We felt a preparatory training session would serve multiple purposes by allowing participates to engage business professionals, help build their business pitch presentation and better understand the criteria that must be addressed during the Pitch It & Win It competition.”  During the training session, participants will be counseled on the following criteria items – Problem, Solution, Market Opportunity, Business Model, Competition, Management Team and Financial Outcomes. 

The culmination of events will conclude with the Pitch It & Win It competition on October 21st at the Capital Event Center.  During the competition, participants will be asked to address each of the seven criteria points via a verbal presentation and aided by a visual PowerPoint.  A panel of judges will score each of the presentations based on a participant’s ability to address each criteria point, along with their capability to answer specific questions from panel members.  Participants will be competing for a total of $5,000.  This year, three winners will be chosen as the total purse will be split into three levels (1st - $2,500, 2nd - $1,500 & 3rd - $1,000). All monetary awards are directed specifically towards business startup costs and granted based on valid receipts. 

 “We are fortunate to have Rural Missouri, Inc. (RMI) as our main sponsor for the pitch event, as they are committed to growing the economies within their service territory,” said Dr. Burgess, Dean, School of Business for Lincoln University and committee member.  “Without the support of Zola Finch (director) and RMI’s board members, we would not have the financial ability to offer this competitive format.”   

Since 2012, StartUp Jefferson City along with its partners, committee members, and event volunteers have offered numerous outreach and business resource events geared at identifying and assisting entrepreneurs within our expanded business community.  “Assisting new business startups is no easy task, as they each have unique needs relative to their business model, experience, and financial situation,” said Leslie Tanner, VP-Commercial Lending for Central Bank and committee member.  “As a committee, it is our task to support and educate entrepreneurs as they venture into business ownership.” 

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