Local Entrepreneurs’ Business Pitch Competition

Pitch contestants

By Tricia Hall
Sojourner’s Truth Reporter

Eight sets of local entrepreneurs from Toledo’s Uptown and Junction neighborhoods competed in the Glass City Small Business Pitch Competition on Wednesday, August 24 at the ASSETS Toledo office. Participants could earn a chance to win $200 to grow their business.

“Welcome to everyone. We have ASSETS Toledo, ProMedica and Jumpstart all in the house. I’m excited to see all of you,” shared Olivia Holden, executive director of ASSETS Toledo.

The one-hour event was organized by ASSETS Toledo in collaboration with ProMedica and JumpStart. Each of the participants, current ASSET students, delivered a four-minute pitch and addressed questions from the judges before the final decision was announced that same evening.

The participants were: education childcare center owner Trishia Ethridge, nonprofit steel guitar historians DelRay and Kellie Grace, scented candles with customized music business owner Nyree Haney, bed and breakfast owners Sidney and Nyree Haney, law enforcement consultant Anita Madison, veteran homeless provider Daimian Hatch, and photographer Julian Venegas.

“Thank you for coming. We are fortunate to partner with ASSETS. We’re excited to hear the pitches today and just know that this is only the beginning, there are so many resources out there,” shared Amy Haschak, director of Toledo Operations for Jumpstart.

Three individuals were recognized as the top three winners of the evening, with the first-place winner earning the cash prize. Trishia Ethridge’s educational childcare center earned third place. “We will have a website and support our parents. The website will have support resources for parents like how to deal with stress and other topics in five to 15-minute videos,” said Ethridge.

Anita Madison earned second place with her police consultant company. “Six years ago, I retired from TPS and began assisting other law enforcement agencies in the area of community engagement. I’ve spent most of my career in community service and can see both law enforcement concerns and community concerns which allowed me to develop training that benefit both sides,” said Madison.

Nyree Haney earned first place and the cash prize for her customized scented candles business, which provides a customized song playlist for each scented candle. Her business is called Infinite Creations by Nyree, potential clients can visit her Facebook page by searching for the business name. “Every woman wants a piece of jewelry that makes a statement and custom scents paired with a playlist to enhance the fragrance. I wanted to create a unique experience for each person,” said Haney.

Event catering provided by J’Maes Home Cooking located on Glendale Ave in Toledo; and pitch judges were Blair Johnson, Ebony Carter and Monte Features. For additional information about ASSETS Toledo or Jumpstart visit: http://www.assetstoledo.com/ https://www.jumpstartinc.org/