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IMPACT Pitch 2020: Business Model Award Winners

The IMPACT Pitch Competition has begun and we are excited to announce our round 1 winners for the Business Model Awards!

IMPACT Pitch is a chance for idea-phase, startup, or existing businesses with a strong business plan/idea and a focus on positively impacting their communities to win cash prizes totaling $30,000. In addition to the cash prizes available, everyone who applies and continues through contest rounds will get something just as valuable: personal business coaching, powerful new tools for more effective business planning and strategy, and more. We offer a host of practical insights and tools to help small business owners become their most successful selves.

IMPACT Pitch is an opportunity for traditionally underserved small business owners who are committed to bettering their local communities to receive targeted technical assistance and finance opportunities. IMPACT Pitch ends with the live virtual pitch event on October 8, 2020. The evening is dedicated to celebrating diverse entrepreneurs and small business owners throughout the Pacific Northwest. At this live event, selected semi-finalists will pitch their start-up or established businesses to a panel of judges for the chance to win the cash award prizes.

Business Impact NW is extremely grateful for our sponsors and for their willingness to stick by us during these uncertain times. For instance, take a look below at why they support IMPACT Pitch:

Harborstone Credit Union – IMPACT Pitch Presenting Sponsor

“Why does Harborstone Credit Union support the Business Model Awards and IMPACT Pitch event?”

It’s a way for us to help put those businesses on display, promote the good work that Business Impact NW does, and to feature the passion of all the participating businesses! Harborstone is a strong supporter of Business Impact NW behind the scenes. IMPACT Pitch is a way that we can help promote their mission in action, by providing some prize money and encouragement. It’s a terrific way to showcase what you all do and the hard work that goes into the businesses.

Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and of creating jobs. Working with Business Impact NW aligns with our core values around equity, empathy and empowerment. We want to meet people where they are at. If you want to really be impactful, you have to reach out and meet people along the way and that’s what we love about Business Impact NW and IMPACT Pitch.”

-Mark Minickiello, VP Community Development, Harborstone Credit Union

Visit their website: https://www.harborstone.com/home/home

Remitly – Immigrant/ Refugee Business Model Awards Sponsor

“Every day, immigrants around the world choose to support their families, friends, and communities, providing an opportunity for a bright new future.

At Remitly, we’re proud to help facilitate their generosity and commitment to their loved ones, and believe that it’s our duty to support our communities too. It’s an honor to support this event and the immigrant / refugee business owner award.

On a personal note, as a board member of Business Impact Northwest, I’m grateful for the opportunities, support, and financial access they provide entrepreneurs to grow and thrive. Congratulations to all of the business owners out there living your truth and passion. You’re an inspiration.”

-Kellen Ball and I am Director of Compliance Programs, Remitly

Visit their website: https://www.remitly.com/us/en

Sound Credit Union – Community of Color and LGBTQ+ Business Model Awards Sponsor

“We believe in supporting local businesses in our communities. It is an honor to partner with Business Impact NW by supporting the IMPACT Pitch program, where local small business are recognized for their impact in the community and provided with tools and resources to help them succeed.

Sound looks forward to continuing our relationship with IMPACT Pitch, allowing us to work together to ensure small businesses in underserved communities have the opportunity to thrive and grow.”

-Jennifer Reed, Public Relations, Sound Credit Union

Visit their website: https://www.soundcu.com/

The goal of IMPACT Pitch is to support businesses within the following categories: communities of color, female, veteran, immigrant and refugee, LGBTQ+, and rural entrepreneurs. The Business Model Award businesses highlighted below scored in the top two for their categories within the 1st round of the competition. They will receive a prize of $500.00 and will continue in the competition. Congratulations to our Round 1 Business Model Award Winners:

Àṣẹ Asana & Wellness – Community of Color- Owned Business Model Awards Winner

Business Phase: Early Stage

“My participation in IMPACT Pitch is both to grow my business and provide more broad and diverse services in communities of black indigenous and people of color (BIPOC). Particularly in wellness and healing. Winning this award would be a tremendous help in creating more sustainable offerings and therefore allow me to hire more staff. Staff including artists, instructors and operations so that we can expand. We are not sure where this life is going with the pandemic, but I strive to be more responsive to the times. I want to create ways to provide yoga experiences for black and brown communities including, youth, young adults and elders. On a personal level pitching is an opportunity for me to better clarify my vision and practice delivering that vision to create more sustainable opportunities. Taking my vision from my head, getting it on paper, and delivering it to others is my goal.”

-Adam Jabari Jefferson

Babi Wata – LGBTQ+-Owned Business Model Award Winner

Business Phase: Startup/Idea

“It feels good to receive this award especially during these times and it feels really good to know that my ideas and my visions are viewed as important and valuable. There has been such a disorienting feeling during the pandemic. You question whether you should launch a business or not and this solidifies that I am doing the right thing. All of these ideas are important, even though the impact may be different, these ideas help support the local economy.”

-Le’Ecia Farmer

DM Consult LLC: Job Search Master Class – Woman-Owned Business Model Award Winner

Business Phase: Early Stage

“With the Impact NW coaching and this award, I can serve more members of our local and national community. I will be able to grow and help thousands of persons with disabilities reach their career goals and gain financial stability. So I’m thrilled about the opportunity.”

-Dana Manciagli

Farm Environmental Services LLC – Veteran-Owned Business Model Award Winner

Business Phase: Early Stage

“We are excited to be competing in the IMPACT Pitch 2020 Competition. This is a great way for our startup business to work through the elements of our business plan in a sequential fashion. We are honored to have been selected as a Round 1 Award Winner and look forward to the opportunity to refine Farm Unlimited’s business plan as the competition continues. Thank you for this opportunity!”

-Eric Farm, PE

Pham & Rodriquez Innovations LLC – Veteran-Owned Business Model Award Winner

Business Phase: Startup/Idea Stage

“Dr. Pham and I are frontline workers during the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Winning the Impact Pitch Award gives us hope that our medical device will come to life, improving survivability for patients with COVID19.”

-LTC Gerardo Rodriquez MD American Board of Emergency Medicine

RIJIJ, LLC – Immigrant/Refugee-Owned Business Model Award Winner

Business Phase: Established

“Running a business is not easy, particularly in such a hard time that we are in. But, with support from Business Impact NW, I can make it. Now my business is growing and I have their valuable support, coaching, classes and encouragement; there is nowhere you can find this for free!”

-Reza Sakhi

Ro & Eli, Inc: Mocel Mezcal – Rural-Owned Business Model Award Winner

Business Phase: Startup/Idea

“I am really excited and this experience has been great. Every step of the way, the competition helps you define your business and forces you to sit down and think about your business plan. To be selected as a winner has been like a cherry on the top! I am so appreciative of this experience!

-Rosalinda Mendoza

Simone Pin Productions – LGBTQ+-Owned Business Model Award Winner

Business Phase: Early Stage

“Participating in the IMPACT Pitch competition has been an incredibly valuable experience for us. We’ve learned how to refine our business mission, vision and most importantly, better understand how to project our finances. We’re proud to be a women of color owned business and grateful to have this opportunity so we can continue to grow as business owners.”

-Annya Pintak

Sprout! – Rural-Owned Business Model Award Winner

Business Phase: Startup/Idea

“I am excited to be moving forward in the competition. There is so much to learn as a new business and it’s great to have the support system that IMPACT Pitch provides new businesses. I am still working on my business and am appreciative of experiences such as these.”

-Aleta Mankamyer

Strategic Event Procurement – Woman-Owned Business Model Award Winner

Business Phase: Early Stage

“Starting a business during a pandemic is challenging, especially for the events industry. Making it to Round 2 and winning the Business Model Prize gave me a huge boost in confidence and morale!”

-Therese Jardine

The BOBA Toons – Immigrant/ Refugee-Owned Business Model Award Winner

Business Phase: Startup/Idea

“I participated in IMPACT Pitch because I am already working on my business plan and thought it would be great to get resources and assistance as I am growing with my business. Winning this award tells me that I can do even more. I didn’t expect to win, but this means that I am on the right path. This is true motivation to keep going.”

-Dale Johnson C. Reyes

The PaLacia ChamberLain Lee Salon – Community of Color- Owned Business Model Awards Winner

Business Phase: Early Stage

“I feel delighted that I was chosen as a Business Model winner. Business Impact NW has definitely been a pillar of support. Through them, I have found encouragement, support and education personally and professionally. Through their support and resources, I have been able to take my business even further. I have to thank my mentor Jessica Conaway. My business would not have survived with out her encouragement and assistance. I am so grateful for her sticking by me throughout the process.”

-Palacia Scott


Click the link to learn more about IMPACT Pitch: https://businessimpactnw.org/annual-events/impact-pitch/

Get your FREE ticket and join us for the live virtual IMPACT Pitch event on October 8, 2020: https://businessimpactnw.org/annual-events/impact-pitch/impact-pitch-tickets/


About the author

Ashley Minter
Communications Officer at Business Impact NW

Ashley Minter is a contract Communications Officer at Business Impact NW. Ashley is a public relations and communications professional and has worked for numerous organizations in Georgia including the City of South Fulton, City of Union City, Prevent Child Abuse Georgia, and Fulton County. Ashley is also CEO of Ashley Nicole Communications, a boutique public relations firm in Atlanta.

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