THE PITCH increases its prize pool

Aug 3, 2017

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.

Credit 43NORTH

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.

43NORTH Executive Director John Gavigan says building a culture of entrepreneurship in Buffalo means that everyone has an opportunity to get involved.
Credit Chris Caya WBFO News

"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.

Karibu News founder Rubens Mukunzi says he's proud to have won last year's competition.
Credit Chris Caya WBFO News

"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.