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EforAll South Coast’s First Pitch Contest Results
This past Friday October 23, EforAll South Coast hosted its first Pitch Contest at the Zeiterion Theatre in New Bedford in partnership with Marion Institute’s Connecting for Change Conference. Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) has hosted 20 of these Pitch Contests in Lowell and Lawrence over the past four years and now the organization has expanded into New Bedford and Fall River, MA. This first event brought diverse entrepreneurs together to present their ideas to a very engaged audience.
Twenty entrepreneurs were chosen to present their ideas at a table before and after the contest. Seven of them were pre-selected to give a 2.5 minute pitch on stage for cash prizes and an eighth presenter was chosen that night as a “wild card”. Judges sat on stage listening to each pitch and scored based on the clarity and presentation of the entrepreneur. The presenters were asked to focus on the following questions: what was the opportunity that led to the idea, who is the customer/market, how will it be sustainable as a business or non-profit, and how will the prize money be used. The judges were Peter Muise of First Citizen’s Federal Credit Union; Jen Downing of Leadership SouthCoast; Jay Lanagan, a commercial/residential real estate broker and serial entrepreneur; and Joan Medeiros of Bristol County Savings Bank and member of many Fall River community organizations.
The top prize of $1,000 was awarded to Mastermind Adventures who create educational role play adventures for children. The second prize of $750 went to Children’s Art Lab, an art studio where children can explore their creative potential. The third prize of $500 went to Architectural Glass Artworks, creating glass panels and privacy panels as works of art. The audience was asked to text their favorite pitch of the night for a $500 cash prize. The Fan Favorite prize went to New Bedford Nano Brewery who was also called up on stage as the “wild card”. Their name was picked after the other seven gave their pitch.
Entrepreneurs made a lot of great connections during the networking portions of the event. Benares Angeley who won $750 said “Obviously it was awesome to win a cash prize, but really, the table part was super helpful, too. I connected with someone in Fairhaven who wants to design a website for me and help me with computer stuff (for free!), someone who connected me with a children’s art studio in Cambridge, a connection with Mastermind Adventures, and many people who want to bring their kids to the Art Lab! It was inspiring and affirming to know that I am on the right path with my vision.”