For the first time since the pandemic began, the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship at Rochester Institute of Technology is once again hosting its highly successful Business Pitch competition, open to all businesses operating in Monroe County. The winner will receive $25,000.
Entry to the competition is open to business owners 18 years of age and older, who have an existing business plan and a business model generating annual gross revenue of at least $25,000. Entrants are required to meet with a business coach at least once during the competition, as well as attend boot camp sessions, which will cover presentation etiquette, financial literacy, as well as the exam and updating the business plan. Judges will look at the company’s unique competitive advantage, marketability, owner/team industry expertise, company financial strength, and company growth. The deadline to participate is Friday, July 15. The final will take place on August 25 at the Hyatt Regency Rochester, 125 E. Main St.
Katarina Eddy entered CUE’s first Business Pitch competition of 2019 and walked away with a $10,000 prize. Since then, his kombucha brewery, Katboocha, has gone through a period of growth and was able to move into a mixed production and retail space near the Rochester Public Market. Its sales doubled in 2021 and Eddy believes the company is on track to double sales again this year.
“Shortly after our participation in the competition, we all experienced the trough of the pandemic, which blocked us a bit. However, we have sailed and we are just starting to grow again,” she said. “I always encourage businesses in the Rochester area to connect with RIT’s Urban Entrepreneurship Center when they need planning and/or anchoring. The sky’s the limit in Rochester, and CUE is our rocket to get there.
Ten companies will be selected to participate in the competition.
“We’re looking for business owners who are passionate about serving Monroe County residents,” said Ebony Miller-Wesley, director of RIT’s Center for Urban Entrepreneurship. “We are committed to helping our local businesses get back on track in the wake of the pandemic, and we are committed to providing unique opportunities for businesses struggling to secure access to capital. This contest helps make an impact that will help these businesses, owners and employees grow in our county and provide services to our communities. »
The competition is sponsored by RIT and Rochester Economic Development Corp. More information is available on the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship website.
For more information or to submit an application, email Miller-Wesley.