South Side Pitch Event Provides Insight for Startups


A few weeks ago I had a chance to step oustide of my daily small business routine and in order to sit in on a startup pitch event. Pitch Events are showcase opportunities for up and coming entrepreneurs and new startups to present their ideas to the general public and judges often for prizes or startup funds. New entrepreneurs get exposure and valuable feedback for their ideas and startup geeks like myself get a chance to see what’s new on the scene. The South Side Pitch was hosted by the IJ Clinic on Entrepreneurship which provides free legal assistance, support and advocacy for low-income entrepreneurs in Chicago. The event included a Welcome from Beth Kregor, Director of IJ Clinic on Entrepreneurship and a Keynote by Galen Williams, Founder and Managing Partner of Green Delta Ventures. Judges included: Kristin Barrett, Senior Director, Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation; Yondi Morris, Partner, Knight, Morris & Reddick Law Group; Bobby Turner, Vice President, Whole Foods Market. The following are a list of the participant of the evening’s event as well as some takeaways from the South Side Pitch Event held in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood.

  1. Justice of the Pies:The bakery which specializes in sweet and savory pies, is dedicated to working with individuals who deserve second chances. Their mission is to implement job training and skill development for those who have faced significant difficulties and barriers in gaining employment.
  2. Ooh Wee! Sweet Tea:The South-Side-Based sweet tea company offers 17 unique flavors of tea all of which are sweetened with real fruit and/or local, raw honey. Ooh Wee! Tea was founded by beekeeper Mark Walker and is currently distributed through tea stands in 18 locations throughout the Chicago area.
  3. 3Dime Designs: Is an emerging design and innovations company currently focused on creating wearable designs. It was started by South Side native KeyanteAytch, an Entrepreneurship Student at DePaul University. The first product of his company is a line of 3D printed Bowties with and innovative magnetic clip.
  4. Excuse Me Officer (XMO): Is a company dedicated to mending the relationships between police officers and the communities that they serve by using technology and a Yelp-style review.
  5. Dashporter: Is a network of Porters who work around your schedule to help you keep up with your vehicle’s maintenance and servicing by conveniently delivering your vehicle to and from the dealership.
  6. Rumi Spice: Is a Back-of-the-Yards social enterprise that provides high-quality, sustainably farmed saffron to global markets by sourcing directly from rural Afghan farmers in an economic partnership.

Here are Nine Takeaways from the most recent South Side Pitch Event.

  • Make sure that you understand the art of the raise-do you know what a term sheet is?
  • Capture the attention of the audience and investors early with a good story.
  • Clearly define and communicate your mission statement.
  • Develop a unique idea that sets you apart from everyone else.
  • Be able to deliver your pitch in 5 minutes or less and have a 30 second elevator speech ready.
  • Develop partnerships that can help your business run more efficiently and effectively.
  • Know your goals, objectives and be sure to communicate your value proposition.
  • Put the full capabilities of your company’s team on display.
  • Clearly explain your business model-how do you intend to make money?

For more information on how to deliver a successful pitch event or for more information on small business purchase your copy of The Entrepreneurial Spirit Lives: 25 Tales To Help Entrepreneurs Start, Grow and Succeed In Small Business. – – – – – > Connect with The Entrepreneur Cafe, LLC on social media Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn Instagram


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