Lima’s Pitchfest helps entrepreneurs dream bigger

LIMA — I’ve seen the show “Shark Tank” where up-and-coming entrepreneurs try to market their ideas to a panel of business investors.

A version similar to what happened on Tuesday at the Lima Marketplace.

Walter C. Potts Entrepreneur Center spoke with eight local entrepreneurs who competed for a total of $ 6,000 at the Lima Pitchfest in collaboration with the Rose State University Small Business Development Center and the Lima Area Chamber Foundation. ..

Pitchfest contained two categories, the Startup category and the Emerging category.

The winner of each category will earn $ 2,000 and the runner-up will each earn $ 1,000.

The startup category was for all entrepreneurs who wanted to receive startup funding, and the emerging category was for companies that had been in business for 1-3 years.

The five businesses that participated in the startup category were Airy Automotive and LLC. ClassEBoutique, LLC, dba Keep It ClassE; Fence Recovery Community Restoration; Plush Party Palace and Jump Off, LLC.

The three businesses in the emerging category were 7th Heaven Bakery Creations, LLC. Brunlee Extracts, LLC and Lillie White beauty products.

Erica Hawkins is the owner of ClassE Boutique. She was Lima’s 1519N earlier this year. Main St. I started the business at.

She was nervous before delivering the pitch to the judges, but it all melted.

“I wasn’t nervous at all when I got there,” Hawkins said. “My boutique has been open for 6 months. Now I work full time, so my time is limited to nights and weekends. So if I get this money, I’ll spend it. Will increase inventory a little more and use some of that money to hire part-time workers. “

Hawkins won the highest award in the startup category at $ 2,000.

It was Brunlee Extracts who won the highest award in the new category and won $ 2,000.

Brunlee Extracts, a collaboration between Korbin Steinbrunner and Rebekah Lee, uses Sara’s Sweets from Lima to provide ingredients for businesses and more.

“We started with just the extract, but we’re starting to move on to other areas of baking products,” Steinbrunner said.

The business started last year and made a profit of about $ 30,000 in the first year.

“So we started looking for new opportunities to grow and expand our business, building websites and looking to make them more accessible to other consumers and bakeries,” Lee said. I did.

Lee says he is grateful for his chance to compete in the Pitchfest.

“If an investor is needed in the future, it’s under our belt. We know what it’s like and can approach other investors, ours. The opportunity to earn far more money to help your business grow is really great and helpful, “Lee said.

Stephanie Russell operates a licensed mobile bakery, which started as a home-based business in 2014 and has moved from the Cleveland region to findlay and catering events throughout Ohio.

“I think it worked very well,” said Stephanie Russell, owner of 7th Heaven Bakery Creations. “I was a little nervous, but I presented my business proposal. I’m looking for branding and package upgrades, so I talked about it and talked about sales.”

I am grateful for any money she could receive.

“It all depends on me. I’ve never raised money and this is the first time I’ve applied for any kind of money. I’m very grateful that it will lead to a business upgrade,” Russell said. Told.

Her efforts were rewarded with a $ 1,000 check.

After the winners were announced, all Pitchfest participants gathered to take pictures.

Please contact Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.

Lima’s Pitchfest helps entrepreneurs dream bigger

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