Join us for InnoVentures 2018 on March 26th at Lagunitas Brewing in Ballard. InnoVentures is a pitch competition and fundraiser that educates, empowers and equips our entrepreneurs to take their business to the next level. Hear Ventures entrepreneurs pitch their innovative ideas for a chance to win $2,500 to grow their businesses!
Last year, over 120 local business owners and entrepreneurs gathered at Optimism Brewery for our first InnoVentures pitch contest. Thank you to our community of supporters, clients, staff, and friends who helped make 2017’s event a great success.
We work hard to demonstrate the value of innovation and entrepreneurship for our clients. InnoVentures is an intentional effort to do something unique. Instead of a traditional nonprofit gala, we’ve created a dynamic event that strengthens local microbusinesses by raising funds and gives our entrepreneurs the chance to refine their business skills. That’s why InnoVentures is the premier local event for those who want to help level the playing field for women and people of color in business.
How it works
Ventures’ entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to a panel of judges and community members like you. Twenty-two applicants participate in a bracket-style competition to the final event, where five entrepreneurs are judged on community need, innovation, feasibility, and presentation. Throughout the competition, you can stay up-to-date by signing up for our mailing list.
- Katie Clary, Clary Sage Studio
- Heather Hoffacker, Fluffy Butts Belltown
- Monica Trejo, Puro Dulce
- Lauren Wilson, Sweet Lo’s Ice Cream
- Charli Greig, Vibes
- Claire Renaut, Bacon & Berries
- Marquita Brown, Fresh Scent Cleaning
- Aaron Armstrong, Grow Your Oasis
- Len Davis, Loving Legacy Video
- Joanna Hall, Moxy Jo’s Cleaning
- Logan Niles, Pot Pie Factory
- Jayne M Simmons, Sister Sage Herbs
- Tanya Talhame, Bewellaby
- Rochelle House, Birth Songs
- Cynthia Yongvang, Cynthia Yongvang Studio
- Devin Burkholder, Doppelganger Apparel
- Elliat Graney-Saucke, Elliat Creative
- Kathleen Holiman, Kashelia Apparel
- Tamar Yahawahdah, Rejuvenation Junction
- Sharon Hockenbury, Twin Peaks Nutrition
- Alberto Stein Rios, Umano Property Management
- Shay Huff, WEM Consulting
Why we’re doing it
The March 26th event is the culmination of a three-month long incubation and training program that helps connect our business owners to the community. Contestants access new markets through brand exposure and networking opportunities and gain valuable training by working with volunteer Business Coaches on their business plans and public speaking. Our entrepreneurs benefit enormously from practicing these skills at InnoVentures, and they get to do so with a chance to win cash prizes to help grow their businesses.
InnoVentures is also a chance to see our mission in action and move the needle for Ventures and our clients.
What last year’s contestants said
“By speaking to strangers as well as through the pitch format, I have increased my confidence in my business.” – Agnes Cwlina, Hori Hori Flowers
“I’ve gained or regained the excitement and joy that I felt the day I got my business license a few years ago. I learned that I’ve evolved from the early start to now. I’ve reevaluated my strategies as well as my accomplishments.” – Bianca Juarez, Bianca’s Cleaning Services
“There are a lot of people that dream like I do. I’m glad to have found them.” – Jana Morbeck, A Practical Resource