On Thursday, October 4th, Business Impact NW gave away $30,000 to local entrepreneurs at 415 Westlake in Seattle. Presented by Harborstone Credit Union, IMPACT Pitch was the culmination of a 4-month long contest of 63 applicants vying for a chance to win their piece of the prize money to help them start or grow their successful business venture.
Toyia Taylor, Founding Director of We.App, hosted the evening as the top 8 finalist pitched their businesses to a panelist of judges.
- Matt Oppenheimer, Co-Founder & CEO, Remitly
- Michael Powell, Harborstone Credit Union (and Presenting Sponsor)
- Coté Soerens, Founding Owner of Resistencia Coffee (and 2017 Impact Pitch Best Startup Winner)
- 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 2018 & 2019.
Finally, the evening’s winners were presented by Harborstone Credit Union:
- $10,000 Best Startup Business: Positive Spin Pole Dance Fitness – Alyssa Taubin
- $10,000 Best Established Business: MEND Institute – Jacquie Gallaway
- $2,000 Women Owned Award: Positive Spin Pole Dance Fitness – Alyssa Taubin
- $2,000 Community of Color Award: Boon Boona Coffee – Efrem Fesaha
- $2,000 Veteran Owned Award: Cavness HR – Jason Cavness
- $2,000 LGBTQ+ Owned Award: Dorothy’s Piano Bar – John Lehrack
- $2,000 Immigrant or Refugee Owned Award: Mikki Co. – Minnie Yuan, Karin Soyama & Kathy Tuan
- Harborstone Credit Union
- JP Morgan Chase & Co.
- Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines
- Pacific Office Automation
- Vulcan Inc.
- First Citizens Bank
- Washington Federal
- Seattle Credit Union
- Verity Credit Union
- Pride Foundation
- Banner Bank
- Morgen Schuler Photography
- Special Thanks: