Female and Minority Entrepreneurs Will Compete for a Cut of $50,000 on Sept. 28

BUFFALO, NY – 43North, in collaboration with the City of Buffalo and New York Business Development Corporation (NYBDC)/Excelsior Growth Fund, is excited to announce the four local businesses that have moved on to THE PITCH Finals. They will compete in a live pitch event on Thursday, September 28 at 5pm at the Buffalo Museum of Science for a cut of $50,000 in cash prizes.

This year, there are two categories to the competition: Main Street Businesses and Growth Companies. Each category has a grand prize of $15,000 and a runner-up prize of $5,000.

Those attending THE PITCH on September 28 will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite business to also win the $10,000 Five Star Bank People’s Choice Minority and Women Small Business Award. In addition, each Finalist will have the opportunity to participate in Allstate’s Minority and Women Emerging Entrepreneurs Program through the University at Buffalo.

THE PITCH Finalists are:

Main Street Businesses

  • Buffalo Healthy Living
  • Empire Transportation

Growth Companies

  • Coolture, LLC
  • PneumaGlide

The event will also feature a keynote by Michael and Ramona Woods, founders of Ashtae Products and featured on CNBC’s The Profit.

NYBDC/Excelsior Growth Fund is the Signature Sponsor of THE PITCH, with additional support from KeyBank, ECIDA, Kaleida Health, Foit-Albert Associates, and Iroquois Construction Services.

THE PITCH Business Competition is free to attend and open to the public, but registration is required. You can reserve your tickets at this link.

“Congratulations to the inspiring entrepreneurs moving onto THE PITCH finals! The competition will be fierce, but that’s just a testament to the growth we are seeing among a broader base of entrepreneurs in the Western New York business community.” said John Gavigan, 43North Executive Director.

“I am thrilled that THE PITCH will once again highlight minority and women-owned businesses. On September 28 it’s all about entrepreneurship and celebrating diversity – creating a stronger Buffalo region one business at time,” said Jennifer J. Parker, 43North Inclusion Consultant, owner of Jackson Parker Communications, and founding organizer of THE PITCH.

“Congratulations to the finalists of THE PITCH business competition,” said Mayor Byron Brown. “Good luck to all of the minority and women entrepreneurs who are competing for a cut of $50,000 in funding to grow your businesses. I was proud to develop this competition two years ago with the New York Business Development Corporation and 43North.”

Buffalo’s minority- and women-owned business community continues to contribute to the city’s economic growth and resurgence. We are proud to again support THE PITCH and to recognize minority- and women business owners for their drive, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit,” said Pat MacKrell, Chief Executive Officer of NYBDC and Excelsior Growth Fund.

“43North’s THE PITCH is reflective of the new entrepreneurial spirit and growth that’s sweeping across Buffalo. KeyBank is proud to help our region thrive by supporting this competition that gives minority and women business owners the opportunity to grow and succeed here,” said Gary Quenneville, Regional Sales Executive for KeyBank in Upstate New York.

“The ECIDA has made it a top priority to support M/WBE outreach, and as a returning sponsor of THE PITCH we are pleased to see this year’s contest even bigger than 2016. We want to help these business owners not only to grow, but also to network, and this is a perfect showcase for them to do both,” said Steve Weathers, ECIDA President and CEO.

“Investing in entrepreneurship is vital to WNY’s continuous growth, and Kaleida Health is proud to be a supporter of THE PITCH and its efforts to further develop local businesses. We want to congratulate these four finalists on their accomplishments thus far, and look forward to what’s still to come as a result of this opportunity,” said Mike Hughes, SVP of Marketing and Public Affairs at Kaleida Health.

“Foit-Albert Associates is proud to be a sponsor of THE PITCH and support women and minority-led businesses in Erie County. This group of finalists is an incredible representation of the continued growth in the startup and small business sector of our business community,” said Gregory R. Carballada, President of Foit-Albert Associates.

“Having a business competition like THE PITCH is a clear indication of the growth of entrepreneurship in WNY, and Iroquois Construction Services is proud to support these efforts. Creating a culture of inclusiveness is essential to the success of our business community,” said Tom Saia, President of Iroquois Construction Services.

“Five Star Bank is excited to support THE PITCH Business Competition as the sponsor of the People’s Choice Minority and Women Small Business Award. One finalist will walk away with an additional $10,000 to continue growing their business, and it means so much that we can be part of their success story,” said Ted Oexle, Buffalo Regional President for Five Star Bank.