As with the start of any contest, there’s a moment when the marketing team thinks: “Is anyone going to participate?” 

Well, the people of Illinois came through on our “Growing Chicago” contest as we received over 40 viable pitches from small business owners who told us exactly what they’d do if they could get access to capital!

And speaking of Access to Capital, with a few hundred tickets sold to our Chicago event on May 22, we’re almost all sold out!  Word has gotten around that we’ve attracted over 20 lenders who are looking to fund your business growth!

Obviously, we want to send a huge thank you to all the people who took the time to prepare and submit pitch videos.  In addition, we had thousands and thousands of people voting for their favorite pitch, so it was an incredible community effort!

Curious what it takes to win a pitch contest and be on your way to win our $10,000 prize?   Check out the top five pitches below!

And the Top 5:

BBQ     1. BBQ’d Productions Catering and BBQOwner Kris Schoenberger wants to make your next event even tastier with his mobile kitchen. We haven’t seen a menu yet, but Kris did say he has deep-fried pizza roles, which I image as electric a combination as chocolate and peanut butter.’  FB: BBQ’d Productions

     2.Jockbroker Jockbrokers – Sports InvestingJustin Baggott has found a legal alternative to sports gambling. We’re not entirely sure how it works, but with the fervor of many sports fans, the idea seems like a slam dunk. I get a little lost thinking about the possibilities. FB: Jockbrokers || Twitter: @Jockbrokers

3.  Dude productsDude, We Need 10kSean Riley submitted this video that made us all laugh. Dude Wipes, the flagships product sold by Dude Products, are exactly what you image them to be. Seriously, you’ve got it right. I know what you’re thinking, and yes – they’re already available for purchase. FB: Dude Products || TW: @DudeProducts

4. iVisumeiVizumé – The new way to Résumé:  It’s about showing potential employers something other (or more) than a piece of paper. Marvin White’s iVizumé allows you to make video résumé portfolios, which could help jobseekers express themselves to potential employers through video. FB: iVisume || TW: @iVisume

5. EviaryEviary Matches Businesses with Designers:The concept of Eviary is to connect talented graphic designers with people who need their services. Could take some of the pain out of finding freelance work as a graphic designer, and some of the headache of finding a talented designer. FB: Eviary || TW: EviaryBusiness

Congratulations to all entrants, and our entire team wishes these top 5 the best of luck!  Having talked with all of them recently, I can assure you that they’re all well aware of how important their upcoming 90 pitch is going to be at the #GetA2C event!

See you in Chicago!