9 Newark-based entrepreneurs received coaching to develop their business pitches ahead of the Brunch Pitch Competition.
May 3rd, 2022- Newark, NJ – Greater Newark Enterprises Corporation (GNEC) partnered with Brunch Pitch to allow Newark-based entrepreneurs to develop and practice their business pitches. This platform enables Black entrepreneurs across the spectrum the opportunity to pitch their business to a panel of industry judges. The pitch competition targeted startups, mom-and-pops, and the everyday Newark entrepreneur.
After weeks of coaching from Tasmere Gathers, founder of Brunch Pitch and The DM Firm, nine Newark-based entrepreneurs pitched their business to 6 industry professionals for an opportunity to receive constructive feedback to create actionable next steps and win cash prizes. The Brunch Pitch participants and judges were split into two rooms for the first round of speed pitching. Each participant had five minutes to pitch to three of the six judges; the top five scoring pitchers were selected to pitch again on the main stage to all six judges.
The winner, with the prize of $1,000, was awarded to Kevin Celisca, founder of Integrate School, which helps admins and teachers to save time on the lesson planning process by making it easier to create, share, and provide feedback on lesson plans while mapping them to state standards and curriculum.
"This process benefitted me and the business by helping me to fine tune my pitch and make it more compelling which will increase my chances of obtaining more investment", states Kevin. "This event is important for entrepreneurs of color because the Brunch Pitch allows them to experience what it feels like to pitch in front of investors and audience members in a live environment. Next year I hope my business can be sustainable through sales to the point where investment is an option, and not a need."
The second-place prize of $750 was awarded to Kemani Nix, owner of Envir Clean. This company offers customized cleaning services and programs specific to their needs, such as Covid-19 disinfection, mold remediation, water damage restoration, commercial & residential cleaning, and more.
“The competition helped me turn my industry and business knowledge into a concise pitch that will serve as the foundation for all my successive pitches. We hope to generate $280,000 in business next year, expanding our team to 10 employees. The competition has given me the confidence to speak to anyone about my business comfortably, in any setting," states Kemani.
The third-place prize of $500 was awarded to Cashem Lateif Holland, founder of Financial Boss, an organization that educates, empowers, and elevates young people in the matter of financial literacy.
"The overall experience was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!! I met great people who I hope to collaborate with in the near future," states Cashem. "Often there are requirements that need to be met that entrepreneurs of color are unable to fulfill. Additionally, some BIPOC entrepreneurs do not receive the assistance needed to pitch effectively. Brunch Pitch is so important for entrepreneurs of color because of the individual consultation and feedback provided and the low barriers to entry for the pitch competition."
GNEC is always looking to partner with organizations that support the growth of small businesses of color. To learn more about how you, as a small business owner of color in Newark, can obtain a business loan and technical assistance, visit the Entrepreneur of Color Fund page.