Ten Arkansas entrepreneurs received seed money at The Venture Center and the Little Rock Regional Chamber’s 2022 Pitch ‘N Pint competition last week.
Verkeytia Long, Hudson Lawson, and James Humphrey were among the community participants who received rewards selected by audience vote.
Marissa Cahill, Kenitra Jones, and Kathleen Lawson won the top three awards after giving pitches in front of a panel of judges and a local audience at Little Rock’s Ron Robinson Theater.
Members of the autumn 2022 Spark! cohort attended the biennial event, which gave each participant the opportunity to pitch their idea to a panel of local judges.
● Mariah Brown, LPC – The Vision Project
● Marisa Cahill – Cahill Exterior Design
● Bo Dillon – Builder Bid
● Cheryl Humphrey – Candy Butta
● Kenitra Jones – Kenitra’s Travel
● Kathleen Lawson – Sprinkles and Spice
● Will Tidwell – SpeakUPZee, L.L.C.
The Spark! cohort consists of seven Arkansas-based small businesses that recently finished a 10-week accelerator programme that assists participating founders in scaling their firms through a sales, marketing, and business finance curriculum as well as mentor contacts. Among the seven founders are:
“In its seventh year, Pitch ‘N Pint continues to garner excitement and ignite the entrepreneurial spirit of our local business leaders,” said Pamela Reed, The Venture Center’s managing director of community initiatives. “We’re appreciative to the Little Rock Regional Chamber and its collaboration for consistently supporting the growth and success of small businesses, and we’re pleased to see how the seed financing provided will assist these leaders in tackling their next stage of growth.”
The top three Spark! winners received seed capital ranging from $3,000 to $1000, and The Venture Center and its sponsors surprised the remaining Spark! contestants with $500 each. Prizes totaling $1,000 were awarded to community contestants. During the event, Arkansas small businesses received a total of $9,000 in funding.
Winning contestants included: Spark! Accelerator Category:
First Place – $3,000 Winner: Marissa Cahill, Cahill Exterior Design
Second Place – $2,000 Winner: Kenitra Jones, Kenitra’s Travel
Third Place – $1,000 Winner: Kathleen Lawson, Sprinkles and Spice Community Entrepreneurs Category:
First Place – $500 Winner: Verkeytia Long, Xtreme Clean Janitorial and Cleaning Services
Second Place – $300 Winner: Hudson Lawson, Book Project
Third Place – $200 Winner: James Humphrey, James Humphrey Jr. Scholarship Fund “It’s been inspiring to watch this cohort’s growth over the last 10 weeks, and their confidence at Pitch ‘N Pint is why we continue to partner with The Venture Center to provide this event and the Spark! Small Business Accelerator program,” said Jay Chesshir, president and CEO of the Little Rock Regional Chamber. “Entrepreneurial growth is certainly a replicable process and continuing to give early-stage entrepreneurs exposure to resources like seed funding and networking helps bolster their vision and benefits Little Rock’s economic future.”
- Pitch ‘N Pint at Venture Center provides award winners
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