We are incredibly thankful to BECU, Boeing, Friends of the Waterfront, and Vulcan Inc. sponsors of InnoVentures! It is because of their generous support that Ventures business owners from the food, product, and service industries have the opportunity to compete for resources that will help their business. Sponsorships dollars will cover event costs such and make it possible for Ventures to dedicate resources to coaching our clients as they prepare for this unique opportunity to pitch their businesses. You can buy tickets here.
InnoVentures is our first small business pitch contest. We expect a diverse audience of over 125 people, including Ventures clients and their families, volunteers, investors, business owners, and community partners. Local business leaders will serve as coaches throughout the competition and will be in the audience to support the clients they have mentored. A guest panel of community leaders and industry experts will judge the pitches and determine winners who will earn cash and in-kind prizes to expand their enterprises.
Organizations who support Ventures’ entrepreneurs make a huge investment in our community. Their support empowers low-income business owners to overcome the many financial, cultural, and educational barriers to success and help communities thrive. In 2016, we assisted 800 individuals with business training, coaching, capital, and hands-on support in English and Spanish. Within just two years of graduating from our eight-week business training course, two-thirds of clients who were in poverty at intake move out of poverty. Small businesses contribute to unique neighborhood identities and promote strong local economies. One in five Ventures graduate businesses goes on to create jobs by hiring employees.
We cannot do this work without the support of our sponsors, and InnoVentures will give Ventures’ client entrepreneurs the opportunity to expand their businesses and enrich communities.