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.
Martin opened Birmingham’s first and only boutique cycle studio after moving to the city in 2017 and trying to find a place to teach cycling.
Jamie and Dontez Heard decided to move their business out of their home to offer more to their clients and other Birmingham creatives.