by Tom Tom Staff
Lights… Camera… PITCH!
Ten local entrepreneurs have three minutes each to share their pitch with a live audience – three minutes that may prove to be the most important of their lives. In those three minutes, the local dreamers are vying to inspire the crowd, and ultimately seize the top prizes that will help launch their business concept and see it come to fruition.
Take a look at some of our previous winners, and the positive mark they have left on Charlottesville and beyond!
Crowdfunded Pitch Night‘s 2015 winner, Carolyn Schuyler, wowed the crowd with her wild vision of creating and outdoor, nature-focused playground area for children. Her nonprofit organization Wildrock is designed to enrich children’s imagination, naturally, as they roll down slopes, jump over streams, and are protected by towering mountains. She inspired the crowd by highlighting the way children spend their time focused on media in the 21st century, and stay indoors more and more; her inspiration came from her background as a psychotherapist. The legal support and funding she garnered through Crowdfunded Pitch Night, as well as mentoring with UVA i.Lab, helped her lay the foundation for what will be a safe play area for children for generations to come.
Last year, the 2017 winner of the Crowdfunded Pitch Night was a Darden duo of 1Degree, a mobile app that gives users an opportunity to connect and converse with celebrities and public figures – be it for advice, out of admiration, or just to connect – after submitting bids for a chance at a 2-minute FaceTime video call. Darden matched the funds raised by the crowd, allowing them to take home a total of $5,200 in cash prizes.
Other participants and winners have noted that the Crowdfunded Pitch Night didn’t just give them an opportunity to win a tangible prize, but gave them exposure, community support, volunteers, offers to help put in hours, and other ways to help them achieve their dreams.
We are so hyped for these Crowdfunded Pitch Night prizes. These are life-changing prizes that would help jump-start anyone’s entrepreneurship goals!
CASH POOL: The total amount in the cash pool prize has fluctuated over the years, but the audience has raised amounts up to $5,000! That pool of money is awarded to the idea that the crowd believes will benefit the community the most, as well as prove to be the most successful. This pooled fund would contribute greatly to anyone’s personal career endeavors, and help see their vision become reality. The total amount awarded this year will depend on how many votes are purchased, and how many funds each voter pledges.
MENTORSHIPS: Community Investment Collaborative’s Enterpreneur Workshop and University of Virginia’s i.Lab incubator program are both offering spots to separate entrepreneurs! Opportunities like these don’t come often, easily, or for cheap – and will be beneficial to anyone who is awarded those spots! The CIC Workshop is a remarkable, signature program that acts as a hands-on course to enable entrepreneurs to see through their concept and develop a viable plan to launch and grow their business. It is a 16-week, high-intensity course that involves discussions, case studies, and applied learning activities centered on your idea. The
UVA i.Lab program “supports the development and growth of promising seed and early-stage business ventures.” The program aims to provide budding entrepreneurs with staff, faculty support, a place for their office, legal and technical expertise.
There are only a few days remaining to submit! March 18th is the final day you can submit your pitch and vie for the top prizes. All we need from you is some basic information, and information about your concept: the impact on the community, how you would use the proceeds, and if you have a logo or website already built! That’s it! But don’t wait too long – deadline is March 18th!
Check out details on the Crowdfunded Pitch Night page.
Don’t have a pitch, but want to support your community and the local entrepreneurs? Crowdfunded Pitch Night is part of the Festival, and is one of the free competitive-style events we have going on this year at Tom Tom! Be sure to check out the American Evolution Innovators Cup, and Cville Gives Grant Night, both of which are our other top-level competitions that bring students and entrepreneurs together in hopes of seeing their dreams come true on stage.