On Friday September 29th, Business Impact NW gave away $26,000 to local entrepreneurs at The Riveter in Seattle. Presented by Harborstone Credit Union, IMPACT Pitch was the culmination of a 3-month long contest of 74 applicants vying for a chance to win their piece of the prize money to help them start or grow their successful business venture.
The evening began with a Networking Reception with catering provided by Husky Deli of West Seattle. Then Julianna Duso, Program Director of the Washington Women’s Business Center at Business Impact NW, hosted the evening as the top 8 finalist pitched their businesses to a panelist of judges.
- Heather Chitty, Madres Kitchen (and member of WWBC Advisory Board)
- Michael Powell, Harborstone Credit Union (and Presenting Sponsor)
- Sash Sunday, OlyKraut (and winner of $10,000 prize at 2016 IMPACT Pitch)
- Established Businesses:
- Startup Businesses:
Each finalist had 7 minutes to present their case, highlighting their community impact, unique value proposition, financial viability, market strategy, and leadership team. Then, judges had 3 minutes to ask questions of each of the finalists.
In between each pitch, Business Impact NW took the opportunity to highlight the IMPACT that many underserved communities have through small business, including women-owned, veteran-owned and community of color-owned businesses. For example, nearly 10 million women-owned businesses exist in the United States, paying over $263 billion to over 23 million employees. Community of Color-owned businesses employ approximately 5.8 million people and generate more than $1 trillion in the US. And over 2.5 million Veteran-owned businesses employ over 5 million people in the US.
Once all pitches were complete, the judges were excused and the audience was addressed by Joe Sky-Tucker, the Executive Director of Business Impact NW. He shared the impact that the organization has on the community, including offering free business counseling, trainings, and access to capital for all business owners so that they can help start 190 businesses, create or sustain 500 jobs, and disburse over $7.5 million into the community in 2017 & 2018.
Finally, the evening’s winners were presented by Harborstone Credit Union:
- $10,000 Best Startup Business: Resistencia Coffee – Coté & Tim Soerens
- $10,000 Best Established Business: Repair Revolution – Eli Allison
- $2,000 Community of Color Award: ZILA Works – Jason Puracal, Jared Devine, Kerrie Carbary, Evan Bouchier, and Janis Puracal
- $2,000 Women Award: Nuflours Bakery – Amanda Bedell & Phebe Rossi
- $1,000 Veteran Semi-finalist Award: MyBidConnect – Kenneth Rivers (presented by Domonique Juleon, Program Director of Veteran Business Outreach Center at Business Impact NW)
- Remaining finalists received $250
- Harborstone Credit Union
- Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines
- Pacific Office Automation
- The Riveter
- Morgen Schuler Photography
- Katanya Warwick Production
- Special Thanks: