Local businesses, entrepreneurs to 'Pitch It and Win It' this fall – Jefferson City News Tribune

New businesses and entrepreneurs are set to compete for the chance to win $5,000 in this year’s Pitch It & Win It contest.
The annual competition, hosted by StartUp Jefferson City, gives individuals with business ideas and recently established businesses the opportunity to pitch their idea and possibly win the prize.
Existing businesses are eligible if they have received less than $150,000 in funding or have less than $150,000 in gross revenue as of this October. All business participants must be located or have plans to do business in Jefferson City or Cole County, according to the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce.
StartUp Jefferson City committee members will weigh potential market opportunities and the overall description of the entrants when making their final selection decisions. From there, the finalist must meet with their assigned business counselor at least once and refine their pitch, though additional counseling is available upon request. Then, the finalists will present their final pitch.
The winner will be announced Nov. 1 at the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce’s Business Leadership Summit.
The program is designed to provide technical support and counseling to existing and potential business owners to expand their knowledge and prepare them for success, according to StartUp Jefferson City.
Nicholas Jackson, owner of Take MO Selfies and co-winner of last year’s competition, said the $5,000 prize went toward the purchase of a 360-degree video selfie booth that’s now the centerpiece of his business. Jackson said the business is now mobile and has been booked for events locally as well as in St. Louis and Kansas City and has enjoyed relationships with corporate clients — all successes he attributed to the boost that winning the competition had given the business — in terms of the money received and the experience and insight he gained through the program.
“The competition really set me on the right path and helped me develop a business plan and understand what I wanted out of my business,” Jackson said. “It helped me prepare and get a better sense of what I needed to do while building connections with other great upcoming businesses in the Jefferson City area.”
Take MO Selfies tied with Mid Mo Sno, a family-owned mobile shaved ice business, and each received the $5,000 prize, Jackson said.
Jackson advised those interested in participating to be prepared to work hard and learn valuable lessons for their future success through the competition.
“Whether you win or not, it’s a great learning opportunity and a chance to get your business out there,” he said.
StartUp Jefferson City is a local organization providing support and assistance to small businesses and entrepreneurs in conjunction with the chamber. Small businesses make up more than 84 percent of the chamber’s membership, according to its website.
Those interested must register by the Sept. 18 deadline.
This year will be the 11th iteration of the competition, which is also sponsored by Lincoln University, the local Small Business Development Center and the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Those interested in entering the Pitch It & Win It competition can register at jcchamber.org under the StartUp Jefferson City tab.
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