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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 16, 2020

SOURCE Entrepreneurship Center and Business Ownership Initiative Host Business Accelerator Pitch Competition

RC Calligraphy Takes Top Prize

 

INDIANAPOLIS – On Thursday, December 10th, SOURCE Entrepreneurship Center, in partnership with Business Ownership Initiative (BOI), hosted a virtual, public pitch competition for graduates of the SOURCE Business Accelerator: Dream It. Start It. Grow It. course.

 

The Business Accelerator course is a 10-week business development course designed to make business dreams a sustainable reality. Participants learned aspects of building a successful business such as creating a value proposition, assessing competitive and consumer market,  honing their branding and marketing skills, and estimating start up and operating costs. The Business Accelerator pitch competition provides an opportunity for the larger community to support and celebrate entrepreneurs who are striving to get their businesses off the ground. This was the 8th pitch hosted for this course since 2016. 

 

This year’s pitch competition was hosted virtually on the Indy Chamber’s Facebook page, and judged by a panel of three judges including Barb Cutillo from IU Kelly School of Business, Pat Gamble-More from PNC Bank, and Mark Harsley, entrepreneur and owner of Kite.

 

The 2020 finalists were:

Rachel Cieslak of RC Calligraphy

A traditional script calligraphy business inspired by celebrations.

 

Natalie Pipkin of Black Worldschoolers Mobile Book Store

An online & mobile bookstore celebrating Black stories, Black culture, and Black joy around the world.

 

Rachel Cieslak took home this year’s top prize, and second place went to Natalie Pipkin.

 

Indiana University and PNC Bank sponsored the event and awarded the first prize winner $2,000, and the second prize winner $1,000. All other presenters were given a surprise award of $250 toward the development of their business which was made possible by PNC Bank.

 

“We are very fortunate in Indiana, and Indianapolis specifically, to have a robust network of entrepreneurial support organizations and programs,” said Steve Thrash, Director of SOURCE Entrepreneurship Center. “Partnerships like what we have with the Indy Chamber and Business Ownership Initiative is crucial to supporting the health and sustainability of our small businesses and entrepreneurial community.”

 

The pitch competition can be viewed here.

 

To learn more about the SOURCE Business Accelerator: Dream It. Start It. Grow it. course, visit sourcerw.org/business-owners-series or contact the course organizer, Steve Thrash at sgthrash@iupui.edu 

 

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Media Inquiries: 

Courtney Smallwood, Indy Chamber – 317.464.2246, csmallwood@indychamber.com

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