Wasco County Innovation Initiative partners were pleased to announce the launch of a small business pitch competition on June 14, 5:30 p.m. at the Granada Theater in The Dalles. The competition invited entrepreneurs to showcase their business ideas and compete for a chance to win funding and exposure.
Twenty-eight small businesses from Wasco, Hood River, and Sherman Counties submitted responses to the call for businesses interested in pitching. The group included businesses with different focuses from light manufacturing to food production to software. The six businesses that were selected as finalists include:
Ada Analytics –provides an artificial intelligence powered platform for the cryptocurrency market that delivers real time insights to help investors make informed decisions. The founders are working together to develop a user friendly platform that will support actionable insights for crypto investors.
Ankhiale Outdoors –helps people find themselves outside. Their team has developed a prototype cold weather tent and apparel that will help customers stay comfortable for winter season camping and is working to scale up their product.
Bad Nutrition –makes chia seed pudding for the rule breakers of the world. Their product is focused on delicious flavor and inherent nutrition, making healthy food that appeals to the average consumer.
Monkey Brittle – is an organic snack made from dried bananas, nuts and raisins. It tastes just like banana bread but is light and airy with a crunch!
Propel Flow – Consulting for businesses who want to utilize AI to “Propel the Flow” of business.
Woodsy Craft Co – is focused on creating DIY craft kits for friends and family to enjoy together. These kits started out as retail at the Workshop and they are looking to scale to wholesale production more efficiently
On June 14th at 5:30pm, these six finalists had the opportunity to pitch their business idea to our panel of four judges; James Martin of Sunshine Mill Winery, Lee Weinstein of Weinstein PR, Gregory Price of the Columbia Gorge Community College Small Business Development Center, and Jessica Metta of Mid-Columbia Economic Development District.
Woodsy Craft Co was announced as the grand prize winner for $7,000 and also won the crowd favorite for an additional $500! The second place prize went to Bad Nutrition, and third place was awarded to Monkey Brittle. Over 100 people came out to learn about these innovative business ideas and to vote for their favorite!
Wasco Innovation Initiative partners involved in this event include Mid-Columbia Economic Development District, Columbia Gorge Small Business Development Center, Port of The Dalles, Columbia Gorge Community College, Business Oregon, the Wasco County Economic Development Commission, and The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce. This event is hosted partially thanks to a grant received from Business Oregon’s Rural Opportunities Initiative program and is supported by the sponsors noted below.
Email planning committee chair: Carrie Pipinich at firstname.lastname@example.org.