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Thursday, September 24 • 11:00am - 12:45pm
PitchFork: Connecting Rural Startups with Local Funding

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The PitchFork Challenge is a business pitch competition focused on supporting the rural entrepreneurial ecosystem. It was intentionally created to provide money and momentum to increase the rate of rural startups by supporting the idea phase and the early challenging years of being a small rural business. We created the PitchFork program in 2016 in response to the low startup rates in rural areas after the great recession. This is not just another pitch competition, but a great way to jumpstart ideas, connections, and small businesses. This session opens with a live pitch event, followed by a discussion with its organizers and a shared “operating manual” about how you can take this concept to your community. The session ends with the announcement of the winners and the presentation of cash awards of $10,000 and $1,000.

For the Radically Rural Summit, the PitchFork Challenge offers cash awards, but this pitch event can also serve as a model to bring together banks, community organizations, individuals, and others interesting in ensuring local businesses can access local loans and local investors. Join the excitement as these local rural entrepreneurs pitch their business and receive the “operating manual” on how to run this event in your own community. We’ll share all that we learned in putting this challenge together so you can take it back to your rural area and create something similar, but also unique to your region. The PitchFork Challenge How-To Guide is available on the Hannah Grimes Center’s website. We hope today’s event will inspire more rural entrepreneurs everywhere to start a business.

avatar for Sara Powell

Sara Powell

Program Director, Hannah Grimes Center
Sara was born and raised in the Catskill Mountains of New York State. After receiving her B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Vermont, she has spent her time working for mission driven and place-based organizations as a farmer and educator. Sara has been living in... Read More →
avatar for David Deziel

David Deziel

Founder and Principal, DavidGeorge Communications, LLC
David Deziel is founder and principal of DavidGeorge Communications, LLC. David serves businesses and nonprofits, helping them build their brand, craft marketing and communications strategies and messages, and implement communications tactics. David enjoys over 30 years of experience... Read More →
avatar for Mary Ann Kristiansen

Mary Ann Kristiansen

Founder & Executive Director, Hannah Grimes Center
Mary Ann Kristiansen was born and raised in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. She moved to New York City in 1985 and to a farm in New Hampshire in 1991. There she began making soap, building gardens and raising sheep and chickens. Through her soap making, gardening, and farming contacts, she... Read More →
avatar for Puja Thapa

Puja Thapa

Student, Keene State College
I am Puja Thapa. I am an international student from Nepal at Keene State College majoring in Business Management and minoring in Studio Arts and Women’s and Gender Studies. I aim to be involved in non profit organizations in the near future. I also look forward to make my career... Read More →

avatar for Brittany Migneault

Brittany Migneault

Owner/ Baker, The Bread Shed
Brittany Migneault is a passionate baker and entrepreneur who founded The Bread Shed in 2011, she now manages the bakery and her incredible team and carves out time to bake as much as she can. She is on a mission to provide healthy and wholesome breads to local bread lovers and their... Read More →
avatar for Damiam Wasserbauer

Damiam Wasserbauer

Principal, Wasserbauer Intellectual Property Law, PLLC
Damian Wasserbauer is an patent and intellectual property attorney with a depth and breadth of experience to bring into a clear focus to IP strategies for early stage business clients of Wasserbauer IP Law. Damian holds a law degree from Case Western Reserve University and Bachelor... Read More →
avatar for Jim Verzino

Jim Verzino

President and CFO, Food Creators Financial, LLC
For the last four years as Entrepreneur in Residence of Windham Grows, Jim has trained and mentored 45 food startup entrepreneurs to an average or 35% growth in sales, helped them create 58 new jobs and raise over $2 million in outside funding. That experience led him to see that... Read More →
avatar for Roy Wallen

Roy Wallen

CEO, Directional Healthcare Advisors
Roy Wallen has served in leadership roles for new product initiatives in medical technology companies ranging from pre-revenue start-up to multi-billion, global concerns. His experience includes company formation, raising capital (grants and equity-based), establishing business plans... Read More →

Thursday September 24, 2020 11:00am - 12:45pm EDT
Virtual Link to Join this Session will be Announced

Attendees (8)