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Rising Tide Capital Announces 3rd Annual Start Something Challenge for New Jersey Entrepreneurs

Free Business competition with $30,000 in cash and prizes for microbusinesses

SSC winners 2013

May 21, 2014 (Jersey City) — On June 16 Rising Tide Capital will officially launch its third annual Start Something Challenge business pitch competition with $30,000 in grand prizes. The two month New Jersey based competition not only offers entrepreneurs funding to grow their business endeavors, but also networking opportunities, business visibility and the opportunity to perfect an elevator pitch.

“Winning the Start Something Challenge was an unbelievable blessing to my business! It was a great learning experience and the process gave me the opportunity to market myself and my business more effectively. Before winning the grand prize, I had been working very hard on my business for months, using all of my own funds in hopes of launching it. The cash prize gave us the extra push needed to make aSuiteStay the first in Africa to develop a unique corporate travel tool for booking online,” said first place winner of $10,000 Coretta Owusu of aSuiteStay.

Last year 107 entrepreneurs from throughout New Jersey answered the call to start something by submitting 30 second video commercials and a brief business description. The hard work and participation in the competition was beneficial to most including third place winner and owner of Jersey City Veggie Burgers, Elizabeth Migliore, who used the $5,000 prize to rent kitchen space and increase production.

“The Start Something Challenge has been immensely helpful to my business. I've never liked public speaking, but the pitch competition felt like a break through.  I feel so much more confident about speaking about my business after participating in the challenge,” she said.

To ensure that every participant puts their best foot forward on their journey to the top prize, Rising Tide Capital offers each entrant hands-on coaching and mentorship through tutorials in Essex and Hudson counties. Free to enter, the three-round challenge encourages entrants to drive traffic to view and vote for their video commercials using various online and offline marketing tools. The pressure is on as only 10 participants will make it to the final round where they will pitch their business ideas to an audience of judges. Three champions will be selected to win business grants to grow their businesses and be recognized at the Star Something Champions Gala.

Nicole Silva, who learned about the Community Business Academy upon winning the Start Something Challenge and is set to graduate this June, used her $7,500 prize to update her packaging to meet FDA standards and sell her organic body products in the Madison, NJ Wholefoods store.

I definitely learned to push myself harder and to step out of my comfort zone! The Start Something Challengehelped me understand how to tell DollyMoo’s story and explain exactly what we offer. It also taught me that you really have to put yourself out there if you want to make any progress. I encourage everyone to go for it!” said 2nd place winner Nicole Silva.

If you are a New Jersey resident, microbusiness owner or have a strong business idea that you are ready to grow this competition is for you! Click here to learn more information.

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 $10,00 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 www.StartSomethingChallenge.org

Rising Tide Capital (RTC) is a Jersey City-based nonprofit organization founded in 2004 by Harvard graduates Alex Forrester and Alfa Demmellash. RTC helps entrepreneurs start and grow successful businesses by providing a 12-week Community Business Academy—supplemented by year-round workshops, coaching and networking events. These programs are currently offered in Spanish and in English in four cities across Northern New Jersey: Jersey City, Newark, Union City, and Orange Township. As of January 839 entrepreneurs have graduated from the CBA and together, they operate over 355 businesses in New Jersey. RTC’s model of entrepreneurship development has received national recognition from President Obama to CNN Heroes.

To learn more, visit www.RisingTideCapital.org.  

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Media Contact:
Shanea Phillips
Public Relations Assistant, Rising Tide Capital
201-432-4316 x 117
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