Pitch@WCC: Start, Build Grow

Ready to set your New Year goals? Have you always had a business idea that you wanted to Pitch? 2020 could be your year!

Apply Here for Pitch @ WCC 2020

Application Deadline: Friday, January 31 at 11:59pm
Pitch @ WCC 2020 will be held on Tuesday, May 12

Pitch flyer 2020

Congratulations to all of our Pitch@WCC 2019 participants! See details below on our winners, event photos, and a video update on the 2018 “Grow” category winner.

Pitch@WCC is The Entrepreneurship Center at Washtenaw Community College’s premier event of the year, where entrepreneurs in three categories pitch their business ideas for cash prizes: Start, Build and Grow.

Pitch@WCC includes three months of required workshops on pitch training and storytelling. Entrepreneurs then prepare their pitches to present at the evening event, which includes food, a DJ and a panel of five judges from our on-campus and off-campus business community. A favorite is our audience choice award!

Pitch@WCC Press Coverage


Pitch@WCC 2019 participants, photo courtesy of Layton Howe

Pitch@WCC 2019 participants, photo courtesy of Layton Howe

“Aspiring and fledgling entrepreneurs win cash prizes at Pitch@WCC,” WCC News & Events, May 14, 2019, https://www.wccnet.edu/news/2019/2019-05-14-pitch-wcc.php

“Washtenaw Community College holds ‘pitch-off’ for local entrepreneurs May 9 in Ann Arbor,” Click on Detroit, March 22, 2019, https://www.clickondetroit.com/all-about-ann-arbor/washtenaw-community-college-holds-pitch-off-for-local-entrepreneurs-may-9-in-ann-arbor

“Washtenaw Community College holds ‘pitch-off’ for local entrepreneurs May 9 in Ann Arbor,” Click on Detroit, March 22, 2019, https://www.clickondetroit.com/all-about-ann-arbor/washtenaw-community-college-holds-pitch-off-for-local-entrepreneurs-may-9-in-ann-arbor

“‘Catastrophe room’ business idea wins $1,500 at Pitch@WCC competition,” Concentrate Ann Arbor, May 23, 2018, https://www.secondwavemedia.com/concentrate/innovationnews/catasrelief0458.aspx

“Pitch@WCC competition returns, offering opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs,” Concentrate Ann Arbor, January 17, 2018: https://www.secondwavemedia.com/concentrate/innovationnews/pitchatwcc0440.aspx

For an update on our Pitch@WCC Grow Category winners from 2018-2016, check out the following videos:

Pitch@WCC, May 2019

2019 winners are…

Start Category

1st Place – $1,000:
LikeMe? App
Steven Chettleburgh

Runner-up – $500:
Urban Healthcare Solutions
JoAhne Penney

Build Category

1st Place – $1,250:
Champ Life Pros
Red Jennings

Runner-up – $625:
Bee Present Honey
Rebecca Wittekindt

Grow Category

1st Place – $1,500:
The Cookie and Crumb
Shanell Smith
Facebook: The Cookie and Crumb

Runner-up – $750:
Beyond Primary Care
Jeff O’Boyle

$500 Audience Choice Award

Jane Coaxum’s Golden Care
Charles Cameron

2018 winners are....

Start Category

1st Place - $1,000:
Kiara Patterson & Tiffany Avery
Instagram: CatasReliefLLC

Runner-up - $500:
Michigan Youth Yugioh Academy
Trenton Aeschliman

Build Category

1st Place - $1,250:
Sean Carroll
Runner-up - $625:
Danielle Statom

Grow Category

1st Place - $1,500:
Love at First Try
Kerrie Love
Runner-up - $750:
EVOLVEcreative presents: No More Parties Fest
Tateanna Hinds & Lamar Turner

$500 Audience Choice Award

CatasRelief, Kiara Patterson & Tiffany Avery  

Pitch@WCC 2017 Winners & Photos View the Facebook photo album

Start Category

Winner: Credit Card Shavers Xavier Clemons CreditCardShavers.com Indiegogo: Credit Card Shavers Runner-up: Fresh To The Roots Eduardo Calvachi and Fernando Calvachi freshtotheroots.myshopify.com

Build Category Winner: AXC Apparel (American X Change) Khalid McDowell and Lamar Turner AXCapparel.com Runner-up: Cake It Up Paige Jones

Grow Category

Winner: A's Custom ESL Tutoring L.L.C. Alicia Myers https://dysodae.com/ Runner-up: SpaLyfe Pamela Pettway SpaLyfe.com

Audience Choice Award Sunshine Recumbent Brad Vredeveld and Haiying Gan

Pitch@WCC 2016 Winners & Photos View the Facebook photo album

Start/Build Category Winner: Moonlight Games Matt Beadle Runner-up: Washtenaw Wool Company Carol Ullmann

Grow Category Winner: Sleepy Cricket Healthy Vending Karen Driggs https://thesleepycricket.com/ Runner-up: Nirmal for Disruptive Eating Priya Dass http://www.disruptiveeating.com/

Audience Choice Award Washtenaw Wool Company Carol Ullmann



Frequently Asked Questions 2020

Businesses will be divided into three categories of business development by

Pitch @ WCC organizers so that Pitch participants will only be judged against

companies in a similar stage of development.

The event will be held in the Morris Lawrence Building at Washtenaw Community College on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 beginning at 6:00 pm.

Prize amounts range from $500 – $1500 given in three categories, plus a special audience award. The award categories & prize amounts are:

Start: 1st Place: $1,000

Runner-Up: $500

Build: 1st Place: $1,250

Runner-Up: $625

Grow: 1st Place: $1,500

Runner-Up: $750

Audience Choice Award: $500

The audience will vote on their favorite pitch. There is a cash award presented to the participant with the most votes from the audience. 

Anyone with a business idea or operating business who is willing to do the work to take the business to the next level. Individuals and teams can present. 

Pitch @ WCC requirements will take approximately 12 hours over 3 months. However, the amount of work done to move your business forward and to be competitive at Pitch @ WCC is up to you. The following are required to pitch on May 12: One “Plan Your Path to Pitch Success” session; Two Pitch training sessions; One Pitch Practice. Optional training opportunities include: Entrepreneurship Center workshops and events (see calendar here: http://bit.ly/calendarEC), Startup Business Research Help with WCC librarians in the EC (schedule: http://bit.ly/bizresearchhelp), meeting with Entrepreneur-In-Residence Al Newman for coaching.

Each requirement will have daytime and evening option. While every effort will be made to accommodate those with conflicts, please note that Pitch @ WCC is a commitment to yourself and your business. We’ve kept requirements to a minimum while ensuring you have resources to move your business forward. Individuals not meeting all requirements will not be eligible to participate in Pitch @ WCC for 2020. 

You may still use all the resources of the Entrepreneurship Center, but you will no longer be eligible to participate in Pitch @ WCC for 2020. We encourage you to continue to work on your business, use the resources available, and consider trying again next year. 

Absolutely! All participants are encouraged to use all resources available to them to move their business forward. 

You must meet all requirements to pitch on May 12. In the event that you miss a requirement, you will become ineligible at that time. We understand that life happens and priorities change. We encourage all participants to attend on May 12 even if they become ineligible to pitch.

Pitch practice will serve as the pre-qualifying round. Individuals with the best pitches geared toward judging requirements will move onto the final Pitch event. Finalists will be announced no later than Wednesday, April 29.

A verbal presentation with no slideshow. Pitch time limits depend on your stage of business; those in the Start category will have three minutes to pitch, the Build category will have four minutes, and the Grow category will have five minutes. The official timer will stop presenters when they hit the time limit. There will be time after each pitch for a brief Q&A session from the judges.

Props, such as product samples, are allowed at pitch, but must be used during the pitch practice session.

Judges will be awarding points on the following criteria: Company Description, Value Proposition, Customers, Presence, Convincing Delivery, and Q & A. 

The panel of judges will consist of Washtenaw Community College faculty and staff members and entrepreneurs from the local community. 

Yes, but you will need to compete in the next category up. Those who pitch in the Grow category will not be eligible to pitch again.

The Entrepreneurship Center at Washtenaw Community College is open to the entire community. Workshops, the co-working space, and introductions to resources are available to our entire community every day. 

Pitch Ypsi is a pitch competition hosted by regional business leaders throughout eastern Washtenaw County and the best idea wins $5,000! Pitch Ypsi Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pitchypsi

WomenUP & Pitch through the Michigan Women's Forward accepts applications in the Spring for a November competition. Learn more: https://miwf.org/succeed-at-business

Ann Arbor's New Enterprise Forum (NEF) holds their Pitch Pit bi-monthly. Learn more: http://www.newenterpriseforum.org

Eastern Michigan University hosts an annual elevator pitch competition, usually in April. Learn more: https://www.emich.edu/cob/centers-institutes/center-for-entrepreneurship

DTX Launch Detroit is an intensive 10-week summer accelerator for college students and recent graduates aspiring to launch a technology startup. All participants will receive a stipend and one team will win a grand prize. Learn more: https://techtowndetroit.org/services/dtx-launch-detroit

Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition supports entrepreneurs who are taking risks and driving innovation in high-tech industries: http://investdetroit.com/accelerate-michigan

Pitch Club has ongoing monthly events in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Lansing, and Grand Rapids that provide entrepreneurs the opportunity to learn from seasoned entrepreneurs and investors: http://pitchclubmi.com