Leslie Pierson, owner of GoodHangups has been a long-term advocate for small businesses and social enterprises and has worked with Ventures for two years since she discovered InnoVentures. “I’ve been working in my own business for about 15 years now.”
InnoVentures is a competition that is important to Leslie. Starting GoodHangups, she had gotten into business pitching for her product on both Shark Tank and the Today Show. “I had to learn how to hone down my message. I wasn’t a natural at it and I had to practice and contemplate every single word. After doing that I realized that being yourself when you pitch is totally possible. When I competed on Shark Tank, I had realized that I not only needed to do the pitch, but I needed to be able to answer any questions that they might have about my product.” Another aspect that Leslie admires about InnoVentures is the enormous impact the prizes will have for the finalists.
Leslie chose to volunteer as an InnoVentures pitch coach as it’s inspiring to her to watch people grow in the process. The services that Ventures provide for entrepreneurs are life-changing for so many people. She states, “It’s what is needed to make changes in people’s lives. I love the fact that the entrepreneurs tend to be people who weren’t previously being served well.” For those that are curious to learn more about Ventures and explore the unique programs that they offer to entrepreneurs, Leslie recommends that people attend the Business Basics Course that is offered at Ventures. Especially when a business owner runs into a blind spot when managing their finances, operations, or marketing strategies. The mission at Ventures evens the playing field for people of color and women that own businesses. Leslie mentions, “You’re going to have a much higher success rate starting with Ventures if you have limited resources.”
One of the messages that Leslie would like to share with InnoVentures contestants is that everybody wins. “You took the leap. You put yourself out there. Such a big part of being able to grow a business is to be able to pitch about it and explore new opportunities. You are all are brave and inspiring.”In About Ventures