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Pitch at WCC

Thank you for coming out for Pitch @ WCC 2021, our first all-virtual Pitch event!

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. Watch our 2021 [email protected] Virtual Celebration.

2021 Winners:

Grow Category

Grand Prize $1,500: Celeste Green, Spanish For Kids
Runner Up $1,000: Leslie Neal, True 2 You
2nd Runner Up $500: Rita Shelley, Cheeky Spices

Build Category

Grand Prize $1,250: Jacqueline Sun, Brassi
Runner Up $750: Laura Roughton, Revive Functional Nutrition
2nd Runner Up $500: Elizabeth Levy, Essay Help For Colleges

Start Category

Grand Prize $750: Susan Baskett, Black Hair Matters
Runner Up $400: Sarah Burch, NamaSitter
2nd Runner Up $250: LaWanda Hollister, The Chow Hall

Additional Prize:

One free professional development class at WCC up to $200, from the office of WCC Corporate and Lifelong Learning, for each of the twelve Pitch finalists.

12 Pitch videos

Grow Category:

Build Category:

Start Category:

Videos of past winners

For an update on our [email protected] winners from 2019-2016, check out the following videos:

Watch our Pitch @ WCC 2021 Virtual Celebration from May 11th, 2021

See FAQs below for more details!

Pitch @ WCC 2021 FAQs

Businesses will be divided into three categories of business development by Pitch @ WCC organizers so that participants will only be judged against companies in a similar stage of development. The definitions for each category are as follows:

START - I have a business idea, but have not yet opened my business or made sales. I am looking to open my business or explore my idea in more depth.

BUILD - I’ve made my first sales to some customers but am in the early stages of running my business. I am looking to further define my business and increase my customer base.

GROW - I have had an established business for some time with a solid customer base. I am looking to improve my operations.

Eligible applicants to this year's Pitch @ WCC must be:

  • A WCC student or local community member who is an aspiring or current entrepreneur in the Start, Build or Grow stage, and whose business serves customers in our region.
  • A for-profit microenterprise business owner or future entrepreneur with a business idea. Pitch @ WCC is designed for small businesses in our local community, including freelancers, but not for high-growth companies, franchise owners or those seeking venture capital.
  • You CAN apply if you participated in past competitions and did not win first place or runner-up, but CANNOT apply again if you won first place or runner-up.

For the first phase of the competition, in addition to the above criteria (see “Who can participate in Pitch @ WCC 2021?”), you must complete these steps:

  • Attend one virtual Info Session on April 5th or April 6th. Register here for an Info Session.
  • Fill out an EC Business Assistance Request form.
  • Record a 1-minute “Pitch Your Pitch” video (see guidelines in “How are the finalists selected from all ‘Pitch Your Pitch’ video submissions?” below).
  • Submit a Pitch @ WCC application and upload your 1-minute “Pitch Your Pitch” video by Wednesday, April 14th at 11:59pm (application link will be shared during Info Session). Only videos uploaded directly to the application will be accepted (no email submissions).

Twelve finalists will be notified during the week of April 26th and will receive further information to prepare for the Pitch @ WCC event. To compete, finalists must:

  • Prepare a final verbal pitch (no slide show) to be delivered live via Zoom. Pitch time limits depend on your business stage: those in the Start category will have two minutes to pitch, the Build category will have three minutes, and the Grow category will have four minutes.
  • Attend one 30-minute pitch practice/check-in meeting with an EC team member between April 27th - May 3rd.
  • Pitch LIVE via Zoom in front of judges and other finalists on Wednesday, May 5th from 6:00pm - 8:00pm. There will be time after each pitch for a brief Q & A session with the judges. You will only be eligible for a cash prize if you pitch live on May 5th. Pitches will be recorded and top winners will be shown at the public awards ceremony on May 11th.
  • Attend Pitch @ WCC public awards ceremony via Zoom on Tuesday, May 11th at 6:00pm to see who wins!

Twelve finalists will be selected to pitch live via Zoom on May 5th. Four finalists will be selected for each category: Start, Build, and Grow. All participants will be notified of final selections during the week of April 26th.

In the first phase of the competition, all 1-minute “Pitch Your Pitch” videos will be judged on:

  • Clear introduction of business name
  • Understandable description of product or service
  • Explanation of customer base
  • Statement on what makes the business or idea unique
  • Detail of next steps for business launch or growth
  • Clear, concise and viable business or idea
  • Video length cannot exceed one minute and file size must be under 5MB
  • Verbal presentation only, no slide show or embedded videos

Twelve finalists will be selected who best meet this criteria.

Start Category
Grand Prize: $750
Runner-Up: $400
Second Runner-Up: $250

Build Category
Grand Prize: $1,250
Runner-Up: $750
Second Runner-Up: $500

Grow Category
Grand Prize: $1,500
Runner-Up: $1,000
Second Runner-Up: $500

The panel of judges will consist of WCC business staff and faculty members, and entrepreneurs from the local community. EC staff will not be part of the committee, so they can advise participants throughout the competition. Judges and organizers will not sign nondisclosure documents.

No, Pitch @ WCC 2021 is designed for for-profit businesses. However, we do have resources for nonprofit businesses. Please email [email protected] for more information.

The Entrepreneurship Center will continue to provide support through resources, the Entrepreneur-in-Residence program, events, webinars, and workshops. If you have any other questions, please email [email protected].


[email protected] Press Coverage

“WCC pitch competition winners include family-friendly salon for Black children,” Concentrate, May 26, 2021, https://www.secondwavemedia.com/concentrate/innovationnews/blackhairmatters0594.aspx

“Entrepreneurs pitch winning business plans at WCC virtual competition,” WCC News, May 14, 2021, https://www.wccnet.edu/news/articles/2021-05-14-pitchwinners.php

“Aspiring and fledgling entrepreneurs win cash prizes at [email protected],” 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/2019/03/22/washtenaw-community-college-holds-pitch-off-for-local-entrepreneurs-may-9-in-ann-arbor/

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

[email protected] competition returns, offering opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs,” Concentrate Ann Arbor, January 17, 2018: https://www.secondwavemedia.com/concentrate/innovationnews/pitchatwcc0440.aspx

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

[email protected], May 2019

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

[email protected] 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

[email protected] 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