Pitch It & Win It competition on tap

If you’ve got a winning business idea but not the funding to get it off the ground, a 5-minute business pitch could win you part of a $5,000 prize pot.

Startup Jefferson City is sponsoring a fourth Pitch It & Win It competition at 9 a.m. Oct. 19 at Capital Event Center, 623 Ohio St. The event is modeled after the TV show “Shark Tank,” and spectators are welcome to watch.

Mike Honeywell, president of KA-Neckt Marketing, came up with the idea for the local competition with the help of a friend in the business community.

“If you have ever had an inkling of an idea of starting a business, this is the best opportunity you’ll get,” Honeywell said. “You’ll be able to get encouragement from people who have been there and done that.”

Registration is free and can be done online at www.startupjeffcity.com.

A panel of five business experts, both business owners and business teachers, will judge participants on five criteria: clarity, creditability, purpose, realism and contagious passion.

After hearing the presentations and questioning the participants, the judges will determine the split of the $5,000 in prize money, said Shaun Sappenfield, the existing business manager for the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce.

The prize money is being provided by Rural Missouri Inc., a Small Business Association loan provider, he said.

StartUp Jefferson City started last year to engage local entrepreneurs and provide the resources needed to help them pursue their goal of opening a business. It determined two priority needs for small businesses: access to professional business resources and start-up capital.

Dyarl Lewis, a contractor, captured top honors in the first Pitch It & Win It with his business idea for a self-contained renewable paint roller idea.

The competition doesn’t limit applicants by geography, but is marketed toward Jefferson City-area residents.

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