Michigan Women Forward (MWF) on Thursday, March 24, will host the third part of its 7th annual WomanUp & Pitch competition. At the event, ten women entrepreneurs from Southeast Michigan present their business plans to a group of business leaders and an audience of community leaders, business owners and potential investors. The event will be broadcast virtually from 5.30pm to 7.30pm
Among the judges of the Southeast Michigan Competition is Pierre Batan, vice president and head of the program, Michigan Global Philanthropy JPMorgan Chase & Co .; Gillian Rosen, vice president of public investment at the Ann Arbor Joint Fund; and Tosha Tebron, social investment officer at the Kresge Foundation.
“WomanUp & Pitch is an opportunity for Michigan women to start or grow their businesses and impact the local economy,” said Carolyn Cassin, President and CEO of MWF. “We are proud to support women entrepreneurs from Michigan and their businesses by providing funding, experience and opportunities for further professional development.”
Finalists in Southeast Michigan:
- India Armstrong s Baby University – Child-friendly coworking for families in need of flexible childcare;
- Milan Bidar from Mouvit – pioneering efforts to integrate autonomous mobility services into a single platform;
- Ida Bird Hill s Works of automation – school of technical certification after secondary education, which provides training and advice on video games;
- Damage to Clemons Heart of Worship Dance Studio – unique classes in performing arts in ballet, liturgy, hip-hop and dance fitness.
- Christy Howden from Wolverine Pickball – a pickball club with indoor courts for clinics, tournaments, leagues and more in Ann Arbor;
- Vicki Lewis from VMX International LLC – a consulting firm owned by women’s minorities, specializing in waste minimization, recycling, sustainability and other environmental needs;
- Latasha Perry from Kids like me – enriching and empowering children through positive affirmations and self-perceptions;
- Angelina Rebotaro from UPROAR Detroit – a fresh look at the beautiful jewelry, revolutionary in both design and social networks;
- Jackie Smythe from Fucked Faces INFKNIT clothing – reverse, sustainable active clothing, ethically made in Detroit;
- Paul Tutman of Zuke-iT, maker of bra without bra – a customizable chest strap that changes the game, specially designed for women with BN cups.
Before the competition, the MWF brought together each finalist with a coach and a teacher. The coaches worked with the finalists to develop their comprehensive business plan and work out their claims.
The competition is divided into established and starting categories. Winners in each category and from each region will receive cash prizes: the first two prizes of $ 10,000 per seat; two second prizes of $ 5,000 per seat; two-third prizes of $ 2,500 per seat; and an audience selection winner of $ 1,000 per seat.
The WomanUp & Pitch event was made possible by generous sponsorship from the Consumers Energy Foundation. Since 2015, the Foundation has allocated $ 1.4 million to support the MWF, including $ 150,000 for this year’s competition.
“The Consumers Energy Foundation believes that Michigan women are capable of reaching new heights in their professional careers,” said Carolyn Bloodworth, Secretary / Treasurer of the Consumers Energy Foundation. “Our goal is to help entrepreneurs across the state run and expand their businesses, so this year we are financially rewarding 40 small business owners, ten of whom are in southeastern Michigan. We hope that this competition will help make Michigan’s economy stronger. “
All submissions will be broadcast live on Michigan Women Forward’s Facebook and YouTube pages. The general public is invited to attend the event and vote for the winner of the audience. Individuals can register through Eventbrite.
In addition to this event, on Thursday, March 31, there will be a nationwide competition for a virtual food platform. The winners of the WomenUp & Pitch competitions in Western Michigan and mid-Michigan have already been announced.
For more information, visit www.miwf.org.
For more information, visit www.ConsumersEnergy.com/foundation.