Renton Downtown Partnership is partnering with OneEastside, the Port of Seattle, City of Renton, and Renton Chamber of Commerce to offer entrepreneurs and existing businesses an opportunity to share their business ideas and win the resources they need to open a brick-and-mortar business in downtown Renton.
The organizations will host a business pitch competition for a chance to win cash prizes to help kick start their businesses and ideas.
“We are thrilled to be bringing a creative and unique way to support and encourage the entrepreneurial ecosystem in our community,” said Christian Switzer, executive director of the Renton Downtown Partnership. “This pitch competition is a great opportunity for businesses to get the support they need to grow and thrive in downtown Renton. Our goal is to remove as many barriers as possible to assist new businesses in calling Renton downtown home.”
The pitch competition includes four in-person workshops which will be held at the Renton Library, a KCLS library in Renton Downtown, and leading up to a live pitch event at the Renton Civic Theatre.
Business owners can participate in one of three categories, depending on their annual revenue and how long they have been in business. Prizes include three cash prizes of $5,000 for the winners of each category, as well as up to three additional incentives of $5,000 for any finalist who signs a lease for a storefront in downtown Renton by Oct. 15, 2023.
The categories for the competition include:
Startup/Idea: Businesses that do not have any sales or revenues yet. Contestants in this category must attend 3 out of 4 workshops to be eligible to win an award at the live pitch: Competition Kickoff, Marketing ++ and either Business Plan Basics or Financial Planning.
Early: Any business with less than $75,000 of gross sales last year or less than two years in business. Contestants in this category must attend the following 2 workshops to be eligible to win an award at the live pitch: Competition Kickoff and Marketing++. Attendance at other workshops is discretionary.
Established: Any business with more than $75,000 in gross sales last year or in business for more than two years. Contestants in this category must attend the Competition Kickoff and Marketing ++ workshops in person to be eligible to win an award at the live pitch. Attendance at other workshops is discretionary.
Participants will learn the ins and outs of launching a small business, including choosing a business structure, government regulations and insuring your business, how to create a summary business plan, small business financing and accounting, marketing, branding, perfecting their pitch, and more.
“This challenge is not just about awarding grant money to the winners, but about building the knowledge and confidence an entrepreneur needs to start or expand an existing business in our downtown core,” said Sue Bollinger, chair of the Economic Vitality Committee. “We want to empower all the contestants, not just the winners, and provide the know-how and mentorship they need to be successful in their journey, whether it leads them to a storefront in downtown Renton or elsewhere.”
Participating in the Entrepreneur Workshop & Pitch Competition is free, and all members of the community are encouraged to attend. For more information and to register, visit rentondowntown.com/competition/ or contact email@example.com.