On Saturday, November 18, 10 finalists competed for a shot at a share of $40,000 in this year’s BIG PITCH, presented by PNC. The finalists presented to judges, potential investors, and a live audience at The Negro Southern League Museum. The competition was fierce, but the winners of this year’s business-pitching contest have been chosen.
For the first time in BIG PITCH history, the 1st place winner was also the People’s Choice winner. Rodriques and Brianna Cowans of R&M Convenience Store won the $20,000 grand prize and the $5,000 popular vote prize, and will receive a suite of accounting services from Barfield, Murphy, Shank & Smith. R&M is a family-owned and operated store in Enon Ridge that is rebranding to 3rd Street Market, reflecting their shift from convenience store to grocery store.
Second place went to Kate Hardy of Square One Goods, a cheeky shop full of Birmingham flavor that prompts smiles with its cards, stationery and gifts. The $10,000 prize will help Kate as she works toward a brick-and-mortar location for her store.
Noncompeting finalist Rae’Mah Henderson, who at 17 is a year shy of the BIG PITCH age requirement, presented her concept for Yobi Salads Express on stage at the competition. Henderson was awarded a scholarship from Create Birmingham for CO.STARTERS, a business development program on which REV is proud to partner.
If you’ve been following REV for a while, you probably remember The Big Pitch Competitions we used to hold back in the day. The Big Pitch presented by PNC was essentially our own little version of Shark Tank. And a lot of your favorite local businesses that participated in this competition now have active retail storefronts that you can go check out. Let’s start with some of our finalists that are based in the City of Birmingham and see what they’ve been up to!
Have you been to Downtown Birmingham’s newest development located on 25th Street? If not, you need to head down there ASAP and check it out! This new single story development is a product of a collaboration between David Baker Architects (DBA) and Locke General Contractors, led by DBA’s very own Amanda Loper. It is intended to be a “collaborative commercial space in a catalyst development area of Birmingham.” Both DBA and Locke General Contractors will be tenants of the space, along with June Coffee Roasters, Zephyr Barber, and Last Call Baking Cooperative!
One of Birmingham’s many hidden treasures is the music scene downtown. The sheer volume of concert venues we have in downtown Birmingham is something most people aren’t even aware of – but it really is remarkable! There is truly something for everyone, whether you’re into the smaller, more intimate venues or the large-scale venues for those big name artists. Keep reading to check out some of the cool venues downtown Birmingham has to offer.