Rising Tide Capital Announces 4th Annual Start Something Challenge with $30,000 in Cash and Prizes

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New Jersey entrepreneurs can submit their business ideas into the Start Something Challenge business pitch competition starting June 15th.

2014 Start Something Challenge Winners received their checks at the 3rd Annual Start Something Champions Gala

For a while I didn’t know where to start as a passionate artist and someone who is new to entrepreneurship. The Start Something Challenge became a solid base, served as a good starting point and pushed me in the right direction!

Securing the capital needed to start or grow a business can be tough for new entrepreneurs, sometimes nearly impossible. This is why since 2011 Rising Tide Capital (RTC) has hosted the Start Something Challenge (SSC), a business pitch competition with a $10,000 grand prize, to provide access to capital to entrepreneurs and small business owners at a critical point in their business development.

Starting June 15 and ending June 29, New Jersey entrepreneurs can enter their business ideas into the 2015 competition. The only free business pitch competition in the state of New Jersey—the SSC not only offers entrepreneurs funding to grow their business endeavors, but also networking opportunities, business visibility and coaching and support to perfect an elevator pitch.

“Participating in the Start Something Challenge was an amazing experience! I received so much exposure for my business and met so many inspiring entrepreneurs in the 6-week time span. The fact that I am a part of the Rising Tide Capital family and I won $7,500 to buy a candle printing machine to expand my business means more to me then I could ever explain,” said Kimberly Sumpter, second place winner of the Start Something Challenge and owner of Jersey City-based candle company Wax Kandy, LLC.

To help each entrant put their best foot forward toward the grand prize, Rising Tide Capital provides hands-on coaching and workshops through a marketing and branding series—Share Your Story—and an upcoming video pitch tutorial in Jersey City. During the tutorial, RTC staff will answer questions and give step-by-step instructions on creating and entering their 30-second business commercial into the competition.

The three-round challenge encourages entrants to create a simple business video using the free version of Animoto software and drive traffic to view and vote for their video commercials using various online and offline marketing tools. Only 10 participants will make it to the final round where they will pitch their business ideas before an audience of judges. Three champions will be selected to win business grants worth $10,000, $7,500 and $5,000 to grow their businesses. All of the finalists will be recognized at Rising Tide Capital’s 4th Annual Start Something Champions Gala.

Ninotchka Johnson owner of Top Notch by Design and first place winner of the Start Something Challenge used her $10,000 prize to update her mobile storefront, the Bus ‘n Boutique. Purchasing a generator and updating the AC and heating unit on the bus allowed her to comply with local vending laws and reach more customers by participating in more fairs and shows.

“Participating in the Start Something Challenge really pushed me out of my comfort zone. For a while I didn’t know where to start as a passionate artist and someone who is new to entrepreneurship. The Start Something Challenge became a solid base, served as a good starting point and pushed me in the right direction,” Johnson said.

The competition is open to any New Jersey resident over 18 years old, who operates a business earning less than $250,000 annually, or has a strong business idea.

"While securing capital for a new business can be difficult, it is also especially important for an entrepreneur to have financial support during the start up phase. Through the Start Something Challenge, Rising Tide Capital offers micro-businesses the seed capital needed for them to start or grow sustainable businesses,” said Esther Fraser, director of communications at Rising Tide Capital.

For more information, assistance with entering into the Challenge or to RSVP for the upcoming tutorial email Justyna Krygowska at Justyna(at)risingtidecapital(dot)org.

The Start Something Challenge (SSC) is a statewide pitch competition and business strengthening opportunity for New Jersey entrepreneurs. The Challenge is funded by visionary supporters and organized by Rising Tide Capital, a non-profit organization that helps entrepreneurs start and grow successful businesses. To ensure that every participant has a chance to win the $10,000 top prize, Rising Tide Capital provides each entrant with hands-on coaching and mentorship. Free to enter, the competition is open to any New Jersey resident 18 years or older, who operates a microbusiness or has a strong business idea. In 2013, 108 entrepreneurs from 38 towns and cities representing 13 counties in New Jersey completed applications for the Start Something Challenge.

To learn more, visit http://www.StartSomethingChallenge.org.

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Shanea Phillips
Rising Tide Capital
+1 (201) 432-4316 Ext: 117
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Esther Fraser
@RisingTideOrg
since: 06/2009
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