On Monday night, Business Ownership Initiative's ReEntry Entrepreneurship Development Initiative (REDi) hosted it's first public pitch competition for ex-offenders in Central Indiana. A program of Business Ownership Initiative and funded by CICF and the SBA, the ReEntry Entrepreneurship Development Initiative (REDi) addresses the likely connection between entrepreneurship and reducing the rate of re-offending by providing technical business training and education to incarcerated and formerly-incarcerated individuals. REDi Pitch Night was an opportunity for the larger community to join the Indy Chamber in supporting and celebrating five budding entrepreneurs who were selected to compete for $2,500 and a package of professional services. The five finalists were Promise Credit Solutions, H&H Headwear, CiBiDi Dispensary, Ozner Pest Management, and Nouvelle Capital. Two of the five entrepreneurs took home prizes:
FIRST PLACE: Kenneth McKinney, Promise Credit Solutions
The first place award went to Kenneth McKinney for his company Promise Credit Solutions, a credit repair agency that focuses on the removal of negative and derogatory information from consumer credit reports that subsequently violate the FCRA and a host of other regulatory agencies. Additionally, Promise Credit Solutions continues to work with their clients after the fact teaching them financial literacy and how to maintain their credit moving forward. The pitch night judges were impressed by his business model: how it showed a clear path forward, growth strategies and an effective target market.
McKinney shared with the Indy Chamber team, "I am extremely grateful to receive the 1st place award; this will no doubt help me scale my business in a way that is unimaginable. Thank you again and in the interim, I'd like to thank the other contestants and encourage them to keep at it. Entrepreneurship is difficult, however, perseverance is key."
McKinney's prize includes $2,500, an Indy Chamber membership, and package of professional services to help grow his business (choosing from New Thread Films web/video development, Faegre Baker Daniels/Heartland Pro Bono legal services, Kemper CPA Group accounting services, and Sandler sales training).
SECOND PLACE: LaPorsche Jymi, H&H Headwear
The second place award went to LaPorsche Jymi for her company H&H Headwear, which manufactures innovative, satin lined hats, specializing in creating cause/brand awareness. LaPorsche's hats are created with a patent-pending process and offer a unique solution to keeping hair healthier and less frizzy than hats lined with traditional cotton or synthetic material.
Jymi's prize also included an Indy Chamber membership and a similar package of professional services to help grow her business.
For Media Inquiries, Please Contact:
Joe Pellman, Indy Chamber – 317.464.2251, [email protected]
Chris Watts, CW Strategies – 317.514.3184, [email protected]