A selection committee has reviewed business start-up applications for the third Mandan Business Pitch Challenge and chosen five finalists. These finalists will pitch their business proposals to judges March 24 at the Baymont Inn, 2611 Old Red Trail. The event is free and open to the public.
The finalists are Freezy Does It, Torrea and Geoff West; Haunted History Tours, Stacy Sturm; Letter the Lawn, Rachel Jungling; Soup Shack, Dylan and Hannah Hilfer-Schafer; and Wine More, Hannah Haynes and Caroline Crary.
Doors for the Wednesday, March 24 event open at 5 p.m. with contestant presentations beginning at 5:30 p.m. For planning purposes, attendees are asked to register by March 19 at www.cityofmandan.com/register or by calling 701-667-3478.
Selection committee members were Matt Burthold, Lewis and Clark Development Group; Jason Arenz, Economic Opportunity and Prosperity Committee and BNC National Bank; Deidre Hillman, CTB and N.D. Women’s Business Center; Brian Ritter, Bismarck Mandan Chamber EDC; and Maria Walen, Mandan Growth Fund Committee and Comfort Inn and Suites.
The selection panel evaluated contestant applications and executive summaries of business plans for content including thoroughness of information, research and analysis; innovativeness in terms of how their product or service is creative or different than others on the market or in the community; target customer identification; market fit and impact; scalability; strength of leadership team; use of prizes; and feasibility. A new set of judges in the live round will score these factors plus pitch delivery, responses to questions, and whether the proposal is bankable or investable.
All finalists receive prizes and coaching through the CTB at the IDEA Center. The challenge winner will be awarded $750 cash, the chance to be eligible for a $10,000 forgivable loan from the Mandan Growth Fund, plus a host of other products and services to aid in ramping up a business. For a full list of awards and donors, visit www.cityofmandan.com/businesspitch.
The Mandan Tomorrow - Economic Opportunity and Prosperity Committee is hosting the competition with assistance from the City of Mandan Business Development Department, Bismarck Mandan Chamber EDC and CTB.