Calling all small businesses with big dreams! The Big Pitch Presented by PNC is back for a landmark fifth year – and in celebration is offering prizes totaling $50,000 to help the winners take their businesses to the next level. On November 17, five finalists will compete before a live audience and panel of judges, “Shark Tank-style,” for a chance to win the cash, plus a diverse offering of professional services.
Applications for the business pitch competition organized by REV Birmingham are being accepted through September 15 at bigpitchbham.com. The selection panel is looking for small startups poised to hit a major growth point in the next six months – especially retail, restaurant, art or neighborhood service concepts that will generate foot traffic and result in job and tax growth in the city of Birmingham. Finalists will be selected and notified by October 5.
“Now in our fifth year as presenting sponsor, we continue to be impressed by the caliber of startups that are bringing innovative products and services to Birmingham’s communities,” said Nick Willis, PNC regional president for Alabama and REV Birmingham executive committee member. “We look forward to working with this year’s selected finalists and to support continued economic growth through the Big Pitch.”
Finalists will be asked to articulate how potential winnings would be used to make progress toward a milestone for their small business. Strong consideration will be given to businesses that have graduated from REV’s BIZ 1.0 Startup Essentials workshop and/or Create Birmingham’s CO.STARTERS business development offering – for which you may register at revbirmingham.org/biz1.0 or revbirmingham.org/costarters.
Submit your Big Pitch application and find rules and more information at bigpitchbham.com.
“Birmingham now has as strong a pipeline of creative startups as ever,” said David Fleming, REV Birmingham President and CEO. “They have developed their business models through programs like BIZ 1.0 and CO.STARTERS and tested them at pop-ups and events like the Woodlawn Street Market. We’re looking to help get some of those proven business models into a more permanent space.”
Finalists, regardless of competition placement, have gained valuable experience and relationships through their Big Pitch participation – from the instruction and mentoring they receive throughout competition preparation to networking opportunities with potential investors. Past Big Pitch finalists include Zebbie Carney of Eugene’s Hot Chicken, popular food truck and brick-and-mortar near Uptown; Amber and Stephen Tolbert of East 59 Vintage & Cafe, a coffee and gift shop in East Lake; Haden Smith, who competed as Bayou Bros food truck concept but went on to recently open The Annex Culinary Incubator downtown; and Kate Hardy of Square One Goods, a cheeky gift shop now open in Founder’s Station downtown.
The Rainbow Viaduct, one of Birmingham’s oldest bridges, has been transporting people between the south and north sides of downtown for more than 130 years! Now as we look toward its future, you’ll see a pilot project on the bridge to make it more pedestrian and cyclist friendly while we determine the best next steps.
NiEl' Atelier Grand Opening Showcases Inspirational Journey of Ukrainian Family Achieving the American Dream
In less than a year after arriving in the United States, the Vyshyvanyuk family, who recently fled from Ukraine, is now launching NiEl’ Bridal Atelier, a custom wedding dress and alterations business in Forest Park. Olena and Mykola Vyshyvanyuk, along with their three children – Viktoriia Vyshyvanyuk, Eva Vyshyvanyuk, and Loanna Vyshyvanyuk – made the courageous decision to leave Ukraine on November 7, 2022. This family’s inspiring story serves as a testament to the boundless opportunities that small businesses can achieve in Birmingham.
Are you a startup looking for a foot in the door? Did you know we have an accelerator program that helps founders begin their entrepreneurial journey right here in the Switch district? TechStars is a dynamic three-month program that empowers entrepreneurs in their quest to discover product-market fit, gain traction, and access both capital and global mentorship. Operating in more than 30 cities worldwide, Techstars added Birmingham as a host for their energy-focused cohort.