Washtenaw Community College awards cash to pitch competition winners

Judges at the 2018 Pitch@WCC. Photo | Washtenaw Community College

ANN ARBOR – Six entrepreneurs have been given money to help jump-start their business dreams through Pitch@WCC.

The annual pitch competition saw the local entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to expert judges at Washtenaw Community College’s The Entrepreneurship Center in May.

Participants had virtual coaching sessions with experts leading up to the event and attended an in-person pitch-off at the Ann Arbor community college.

“The Entrepreneurship Center’s mission is to help people realize their dreams of starting or growing their own businesses. This year’s group of entrepreneurs are creative, determined and have strong commitments to serving others and meeting the needs of the community,” said The Entrepreneurship Center Director Kristin Gapske in a release.

Participants competed in two categories -- Start and Build -- depending on the type of help they would need to achieve their business goals. Pitches in the “Start” category were ideas that needed help getting off the ground. “Build” pitches were for established businesses looking to expand their customer base.

Winners and runners-up in each category received cash prizes while other competitors received an hour of free business coaching from Colette Douglas of Elite Customer Service.

Douglas also judged the competition along with Nicole Dietrich of Lake Trust Credit Union and 2021 Pitch@WCC winner Celeste Green, the founder of Spanish for Kids.

Here’s who won:

Start Category

Michigan RefilleryPresented by Emily Holiday, Michigan Refillery won the grand prize. The business would help to reduce single-use plastics by offering refills for popular soaps, detergents and disinfectants.
Care Champion Lisa Blake’s Care Champion would help to set up healthcare attendants for clients that need case management, personal care or observation.
Oyu GlobalAs the second runner-up, Oyun-Erdene Damitio’s Oyu Global will help children learn languages through bilingual children’s books and other products.

Build Category

First Love ToursSatara Holliday’s First Love Tours won the grand prize. The motor coach company offers local and state-to-state travel for large groups headed to events.
Bouncing Around the Motor CityCathryn Coleman’s home-based business is expanding into a rehabilitated building in Detroit. The runner-up offers customized rental experiences, decor, balloons and other rental-related needs.
She’s VirtualAs the second runner-up, the online administrative agency helps entrepreneurs with affordable administrative so they can establish and grow their businesses. It is spearheaded by Cymone Croft.

Learn more about Pitch@WCC here.

About the Author:

Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.