Seven Genesee County entrepreneurs will vie for $17,500 in Pitch for $K competition

FLINT, Michigan — With a combined total of $17,500 up for grabs in the Pitch For $K entrepreneurship competition, seven Genesee County residents will platform their business ideas to an audience and judges in an attempt to secure one of the top three spots.

This will be the third Pitch For $K event, with the previous two held in late 2019. This year’s competition will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 13 at the Brennan Community Center by 100k Ideas, a nonprofit that assists people to develop and hone their entrepreneurial ideas.

“There has been a surge of business development in Genesee County,” said Brandee Cooke, director of operations at 100K Ideas, “More and more people are opening up small businesses. We are trying to help keep that momentum going.”

All types of pitches from various industries are encouraged. Winners in the past have included artisanal pasta (Mitch’s Artisanal Pasta), a service to teach children math through sports (STEMletics), and a bath and cosmetics retailer (The Sugar Mermaid). Adriane Deiulius, the owner of The Sugar Mermaid, was the first place winner of the first Pitch for $K competition last August, taking home $10,000.

“It really made a huge impact in my life,” said Deiulius, “And I've been very blessed to won it. I just can't even express how wonderful it is to live in a community where there's so much support for small business entrepreneurs,”

Not only did Deiulius put the prize money into getting a permanent store location to get her business up and running, but she is now hosting other local vendors there.

“It really has changed my life and helped me to help others in the community that want to launch their business… I think the way the program works is just amazing,” said Deiulius.

There are plans to get all the winners together for a mixer in March, according to 100K. The mixer will reflect on how winning the Pitch For $K competition has launched residents’ business careers.

“We've been able to do a lot in a short amount of time,” said Cooke, “We're keeping the possibilities open and planning for what the next iteration of these competitions look like, after this one.”

Pitch For $K is funded by the C.S. Mott Foundation and is supported by The Flint and Genesee Chamber of Commerce and the University of Michigan Flint’s Office of University Outreach.

For more information on Pitch For $K, visit their website or contact them through Facebook.

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Read more articles by Sara Alouh.