has announced the finalists for its new ArtWorks Big Pitch
competition. Eight creative entrepreneurs were chosen from more than 50 applicants to compete for $20,000 in business grants.
ArtWorks Big Pitch is a new business pitch competition where Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky artists, makers, designers and creative entrepreneurs compete for $20,000 in business grants and pro-bono professional services. The winners will use the capital to support their next stage of growth, whether that involves hiring additional staff, purchasing equipment, retrofitting a storefront space or creating new marketing materials.
The finalists, who will compete at the ArtWorks Big Pitch event on August 27th at the American Sign Museum
Soapbox will profile a different finalist each week leading up to the event, as they prepare their pitches. During that time, they will be paired with local mentors who will coach them on refining their pitches and business strategies. In addition, each finalist will partner with a financial specialist from U.S. Bank
to receive personalized financial guidance for strengthening their business plans.
At the event, each competitor will have five minutes to deliver their pitch to a live audience and a panel of local professionals. The contestant with the best pitch will be awarded a grand prize of $15,000. The finalists also will have the opportunity to be awarded an additional $5,000 by a popular vote of the 300-plus audience members. Two runners-up will be awarded professional services such as legal, accounting and branding support.
“The Big Pitch finalists represent our city’s vibrant and creative entrepreneurial talent,” U.S. Bank Small Business Banking sales manager Bill Brosenne says. “Our partnership with ArtWorks will allow U.S. Bank to help equip the individual finalists with financial training and tools, through workshops and individual coaching sessions that may support their continued success as creative entrepreneurs—both within and beyond ArtWorks Big Pitch.”
The competition is sponsored by U.S. Bank and ArtWorks Creative Enterprise
division, which trains and promotes creative entrepreneurs through education, access to capital and community connections.
“I am blown away by the entrepreneurial talent that applied to be a part of this event,” says Katie Garber, director of ArtWorks Creative Enterprise. “The wide diversity of businesses reviewed attests to the fact that Cincinnati is home to an ever-increasing number of independent makers, artisans and creative professionals. It is our hope that ArtWorks Big Pitch gives a healthy leg up to the winners while highlighting this important sector of our regional economy. This is the type of entrepreneurial talent we want to retain and support in Cincinnati.”