In January, the Entrepreneurship Center at the Urban League of Greater Cleveland hosted its 6th Annual Pitch Competition in conjunction with the launch of the UBIZ Venture Capital Small Business Loan Fund. This fund was established to bring tangible solutions to disparities in small business lending for African Americans and other disadvantaged small businesses.
With 2020 having been a very difficult year for business owners, the Urban League of Greater Cleveland celebrated small business owners throughout Greater Cleveland by honoring their commitment and hard work in entrepreneurship. Specifically, the Urban League looked to celebrate business owners who:
- Creatively pivoted their business in 2020 by introducing new ways to fulfill the needs of their customers and create sustainability
- Generated new revenue during COVID-19 through new technology or improved business process.
- Had a social impact on their community and have gone above and beyond to give back through job creation, partnerships and more
- Worked with the Urban League's Small Business Development Center, Minority Business Assistance Center or UBIZ Connect during any stage in business to start, grow or expand operations
After listening to everyone's pitches, the Urban League of Greater Cleveland was proud to announce a total of four winners. In addition to a one-year membership to UBIZ Connect valued at $3,000, including pro-bono professional services and consideration for UBIZ Venture Capital Fund, all companies won varying cash prizes.
In addition to those awards, the Cleveland Browns were proud to support this event by donating a marketing valued sponsorship of $25,000, including assets through the team's radio and digital platforms. After listening to all four pitches, the team awarded the prize to Perfect Pineapple Wraps for their excellent work in integrating their handmade head wraps into University Hospitals and the Seidman Cancer Center.
See below to learn more about the winners from the pitch competition:
- First Place, DKOR HOME – DKOR HOME offers full service interior design, staging, home organization and event styling. As the first-place winner, DKOR won $10,000 in cash. Learn more about the company here.
- Second Place, GrooveRyde – GrooveRyde is a premier micro-gym offering a training system with 10 different workouts from low impact o HIIT. Due to COVID, GrooveRyde transitioned hundreds of its users to its Digital Studio with livestream classes and an extensive On Demand Library. As the second-place winner, GrooveRyde won $3,000 in cash. Learn more about the company here.
- Third Place, Perfect Pineapple Wraps – Perfect Pineapple aims to provide the most innovative, fashionable, functional head wraps and hair accessories with love and excellence. As the third-place winner, Perfect Pineapple won $2,000. Learn more about the company here.
- Fourth Place, Jevon Terance – Jevon Terance is an international fashion designer and lifelong resident of Lorain, OH. He founded the Jevon Terance Fashion Line in 2007 with the mission to inspire people to wear what makes them happy. As the fourth-place winner, Terance won $1,000 in cash. Browse Terance's fashion line here.
The Urban League of GC is a Be the Solution organization. To learn more about Be the Solution, click here.