To help boost entrepreneurship among women and minorities 43NORTH has announced plans for the 2nd Annual THE PITCH Business Plan Competition. This year's prize pool has nearly doubled to $50,000.
Along with more prize money, 43North Executive Director John Gavigan says this year there are separate categories for Growth Companies including tech startups. And one for Main Street Businesses including restaurants and service providers. Gavigan says there's a $15,000 grand prize and a $5,000 runner-up prize for each category.
"All of the six finalists in this year's competition will also get the opportunity to participate in Allstate's Minority and Women Emerging Entrepreneurs Program. So it's no longer just about the cash. But it's also providing these entrepreneurs with access to great programming to help them scale," Gavigan said.
The founder of the refugee and immigrant paper Karibu News, Rubens Mukunzi won last year's competition. Mukunzi says the prize money helped him grow his company and double production.
"Which means not only distributing 10,000 copies all over Buffalo. But right now I'm working on producing videos to have another channel of Karibu News. So very soon you'll be watching Karibu TV on your different websites," Mukunzi said.
Winning THE PITCH, Mukunzi said, also helped him make a lot of new connections in the business community. And he encourages other minority and women-owned businesses to apply. The deadline to apply is September first.