If you’ve been following REV for a while, you probably remember The Big Pitch Competitions we used to hold back in the day. For those of you that don’t know what we’re talking about, here’s a little recap!  The Big Pitch presented by PNC was a competition organized annually by REV Birmingham from 2014 through 2019. The concept behind this was to hold a business pitch competition designed to provide technical assistance, mentoring, exposure and capital to Birmingham’s up-and-coming entrepreneurs. The Big Pitch intentionally focused on helping lifestyle and creative businesses that make Birmingham a vibrant place. Essentially, this was our 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!

 

Elysian Gardens

Who are they? Elysian Gardens is a giant whimsical sculpture park located in the heart of the Avondale Entertainment District, just off the new walking trail. And the best part – their grand opening is TODAY! Go check them out this weekend and see what they hype is really all about.

Year they competed: 2019

Outcome: Winner of The Big Pitch 2019

Where to find more: Elysian Gardens 

(Picture via @elysiangardens on Facebook)

The Baking Bandits (now known as The Essential/)

Who are they? Kristen Hall participated in The Big Pitch competition as The Baking Bandits – but now you probably know her as the owner of The Essential, Bandit Patisserie, and Bar La  Fete! Only some of Birmingham’s best eating spots – no big deal, right?!

Year they competed: 2014

Outcome: Winner of The Big Pitch 2014

Where to find more: The Essential, Bandit Patisserie, Bar La Fete

(Picture via @bakingbandits on Instagram)

Eugene's Hot Chicken

Who are they? A southern style restaurant, food truck and catering company that serves “hot chicken.”

Year they competed: 2014

Outcome: Finalist of The Big Pitch 2014

Where to find more: Eugene’s Hot Chicken

(Picture via @eugeneshotchicken on Instagram)

Life Touch Massage

Who are they? A local innovative spa that provides affordable massage services for individuals who work, live, play, and travel to Downtown Birmingham, AL. A convenient solution for hotels that lack spa services, businesses with growing health and wellness programs, and the go to spa destination for local residents. They believe everyone deserves a massage and with Life Touch Massage, “Relief is only a touch away.”

Year they competed: 2014

Outcome: Finalist of The Big Pitch 2014

Where to find more: Life Touch Massage

(Picture via @lifetouchal on Facebook)

Shu Shop

Who are they? An “Izakaya and Ramen Bar” located in the heart of Birmingham’s Theatre District.

Year they competed: 2015

Outcome: Finalist of The Big Pitch 2015

Where to find more: Shu Shop

(Picture via @shushopbham on Instagram)

Ghost Train Brewing Co.

Who are they? Founded in 2014, Ghost Train Brewing Company is based out of Birmingham, AL and has become a staple in the local craft beer community since its inception. The original brewery and taproom was opened at 2616 3rd Ave South, Birmingham, AL, but in 2022 they opened their brand new, state of the art production facility and tap room just down the street at 3501 1st Ave South, Birmingham, AL.

Year they competed: 2015

Outcome: Finalist of The Big Pitch 2015

Where to find more: Ghost Train Brewing Co.

(Picture via @ghost_train_brewing on Instagram)

Naughty But Nice Kettle Corn Co.

Who are they? NBNKC specializes in unique sweet and salty kettle corn blends. They strive to offer the highest quality ingredients on each and every kernel. Their small batch kettle to hand process of crafting their kettle corn allows them to offer the freshest guilt-free snack possible.

Year they competed: 2016

Outcome: Finalist of The Big Pitch 2016

Where to find more: Naughty But Nice Kettle Corn Co.

(Picture via @nbnkettlecornco on Instagram)

Domestique Coffee

Who are they? Interesting, unique, and ethical coffees roasted in Birmingham, AL.

Year they competed: 2016

Outcome: Finalist of The Big Pitch 2016

Where to find more: Domestique Coffee

(Picture via @domestiquecoffee on Instagram)

Gatos and Beans

Who are they? Alabama’s first ever cat cafe; coffee and adoptable cats.

Year they competed: 2018

Outcome: Finalist of The Big Pitch 2018

Where to find more: Gatos and Beans

(Picture via @gatosandbeans on Facebook)

Ignite Cycle

Who are they? Ignite Cycle is Birmingham’s only indoor cycling studio. This is more than a workout. An IC Ride will tap you into the best parts of yourself – every drop of sweat is a spark that will ignite a fire that will transform your life.

Year they competed: 2018

Outcome: Finalist of The Big Pitch 2018

Where to find more: Ignite Cycle

(Picture via @ignitecyclebhm on Facebook)

Mota Autohaus

Who are they? Mota Autohaus is an independent repair shop specializing in BMW automotive vehicles.

Year they competed: 2018

Outcome: Finalist of The Big Pitch 2018

Where to find more: Mota Autohaus

(Picture via @motaautohaus on Facebook)

Blueroot Co.

Who are they? Blueroot Co. serves up delightful, delicious, and nutrient-dense food for those on the move — because they don’t think anyone should have to sacrifice quality or nutrition for convenience.

Year they competed: 2019

Outcome: Finalist of The Big Pitch 2019

Where to find more: Blueroot Co.

(Picture via @bluerootco on Facebook)

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