ArtWorks' Big Pitch to provide two finalists with up to $20,000 in business grants

On Thursday, eight finalists will compete for $20,000 in small business grants at the third annual ArtWorks' Big Pitch presented by U.S. Bank at Rhinegeist.
The Big Pitch is a 10-week program open to creative small business owners who have been in business for at least two years. The entrepreneurs who are selected for the program receive training and mentoring from both a small business mentor and a U.S. Bank banking advisor.
Over the course of the program, the eight finalists prepare their business plan and their pitches. Each one has an idea for how the grant money will take their business to the next stage of growth in a tangible way.
There are two grant prizes available through the Big Pitch. A $15,000 cash prize presented by U.S. Bank is based on equal parts of the finalists’ business plan and on their pitch. There is also an audience choice prize for $5,000.
For many of the creatives, however, the value of the competition goes far beyond the prize money. The work they’ve done with their mentors will certainly make an impact on their business, and the connections they’ve made with each other and through the Big Pitch community will likely pay off in unexpected ways.
“All of the businesses, all eight of us, are worthy of winning,” says finalist Thane Lorbach. “It’s almost a shame that there’s just one or two awards, because they’re all very cool businesses and good people. I’ve gotten to know these people over the past several weeks. There is no wrong answer on Oct. 6.”
At this time, tickets for the event at 6:30 p.m. at Rhinegeist are sold out.
You can learn more about each of the finalists through our Soapbox Innovation profiles:
  • Jake Gerth, frameshop is becoming Cincinnati’s go-to place for custom framing in both home and business.
  • James Avant, OCD Cakes takes a bite out of stigma with beautiful custom baked goods and mental health awareness.
  • Jonathan Fox, Fox Aprons makes a kitchen-tested chef's apron like no other out of raw denim produced in the United States.
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