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.
When Karen Gathany began her search for a brick-and-mortar space, she wasn’t quite sure where she’d end up. But she fell in love with a charming historic storefront, complete with hardwood floors and an exposed brick wall, on 1st Avenue North in Woodlawn.
To say that Domestique Coffee’s Michael Pocus knows a thing or two about a good cup of coffee is an understatement.
As one of the original vendors of the Woodlawn Street Market, Nelesha Dale has a big heart for community, family, and entrepreneurs. REV met with her to find out what’s next for her business and how she got to where she is today.