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Landscaping business that provides employment to ex-felons and youth takes home top prize of $5000 in pitch competition.

Ind. (Nov. 18, 2021)— On Wednesday, November 17, the Business Ownership Initiative’s (BOI) ReEntry Entrepreneurship Development Initiative (REDi) hosted its first All-Star Pitch Competition for former Pitch Night Finalists and Winners. Montez Williams took home this year’s top prize of $5,000 from the event’s funder, the City of Indianapolis. Williams’s business, A.C.E. Project, is a landscaping business that provides alternative ways for ex-felons and youths to make money one yard and one job at a time. The All-Star Pitch Competition was hosted at the Speak Easy in Broad Ripple.

In the five years since REDi’s inception, the initiative has served nearly 600 clients, helped launch 35 businesses, and provided 17 microloans. REDi delivers a variety of workshops that assist in the business planning process and offers one-on-one coaching. The All-Star Pitch Night provided an opportunity for the larger community to join the Business Ownership Initiative, powered by the Indy Chamber, in supporting and celebrating five budding entrepreneurs who were selected to compete for a collective $10000.

REDi is funded by the City of Indianapolis and addresses the likely connection between entrepreneurship and reducing the rate of recidivism by providing technical business training and education to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals.

The 2021 All-Star finalists were:

  1. 1 of a Find – by Daniel P. Higgs

A store that resells high-end antiques, collectibles, rarities, home decor, and much more.

  1. A.C.E. Project – by Montez Williams

A landscaping company providing lawn care services for the community while hiring youth and ex-felons.

  1. Dycus Vision Production – by Eric Dycus

A multimedia company providing videos, graphics, and marketing tools.

  1. Kite Mail App – by Mark Harsley

A web and mobile application that allows families to register accounts for their incarcerated loved ones to compose and share messages and upload and send pictures easily.

  1. Taste Buddies – by Tichina Clark-Gamble

Healthy eating on the go with a twist.

To learn more about the REDi Program, visit IndyChamber.com/REDi.

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