top of page


Ten Local Entrepreneurs Selected to Compete for

Start-Up Funding and a $5,000 grand prize

The Tom Tom Festival and the Community Investment Collaborative (CIC) are hosting the 9th Annual Crowdfunded Pitch Night on Thursday, April 21, 2022, at 6pm, at The CODE Building. As a part of its ten year anniversary celebration, the competition will feature ten local entrepreneurs pitching to a live audience filled with voters who will pledge funds to their favorite concept.

The budding business owners will share their visions with the community and evoke their support for an opportunity to win both a “Crowdfunded” Prize and a $5,000 CIC Prize. The catch? They must win them over in three minutes or less.



Carolyn Herbert (Herbert’s Wine Jelly): a specialty food manufacturer that creates unique meal enhancements and provides jobs and independence to those struggling with mental health issues and rebuilding after recent incarceration

Cynthia Kankeu (Kank’s Store): a natural cosmetic manufacturer that uses fresh ingredients such as Okra, Aloe Vera, Honey, Hibiscus, and herbs to create skincare and hair care products

Jack Oppenheim (Tow Ninja): a web and mobile app designed to make finding towed vehicles easy and stress free by providing all necessary information to locate, pay for, and retrieve

James Culmer (Blessed With Words Publishers): a book publisher that streamlines the writing to printing process and assists in breaking through the struggle to write bestsellers

Jessica Cifizzari (Paint It Orange): an art business that uses creativity to benefit those working to better the community and aims to make art accessible to everyone

John Epps (Drinking Chocolate Lounge and Chocolate Factory): a cafe where people drink chocolate, make new friends, and see how chocolate is made from bean to bar

Kevin Mellette (RAP House “Recovery and Purpose House”): a home for citizens returning to the community after recent incarceration that helps aid in their recovery and healing from trauma, while assisting them to find their place to thrive in society

Sarah Sweet (The Scrappy Elephant): a creative reuse center that takes unwanted arts and crafts materials out of the landfill and gets them back to the community at affordable prices through the retail store, studio, and outreach programs

Sarde Williams (Sisters Who Care): a high quality, personal care service for seniors and adults wanting to maintain their safety, independence, and quality of life in the comfort of their home

Shaniece Bradford (Shaniece Be Just Be Well Experience): a wellness experience that encourages others to “Just Be” through dance classes, luxury pop-up picnic services, candles, and wellness boxes




bottom of page