Daily Court Reporter - News Nationwide a sponsor of small business competition for fledgling firms
Nationwide a sponsor of small business competition for fledgling firms
BRANDON KLEIN, Daily Reporter Staff Writer
Nationwide Insurance and small business lending company BlueVine have started a competition offering small businesses the chance to win up to $100,000 to help scale-up their operations.
The "Pitch to Win" competition launched last week nationally is open to any type of small businesses.
"The backbone of our national economy is built on the ingenuity and innovation of small business owners," stated Tony Fenton, vice president of underwriting, product & new product development at Nationwide. "Big ideas win in the marketplace, but capital is critical to success. We're excited to see America's best and brightest business owners pitch their ideas to win the capital to help bring their dreams to life."
Business owners must be legal adults and provide proof of being an owner of a small business that is not a franchise that employs less than 500 employees.
Owners must apply by June 30. The selected semifinalists will then submit a video pitch along with additional information.
Nationwide and BlueVine select the finalists, who will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Columbus. Finalists will present their proposals to a panel of judges, meet and consult with experienced business experts.
The panel will judge entrants based on the uniqueness of the product or service and whether it serves a real need in the marketplace, how well entrants communicate why they started their businesses and whether they have a compelling concept for how to use the prize money to scale-up their businesses.
Nationwide and BlueVine will award the winner $100,000. The runner-up will receive $20,000, with third place receiving $10,000. Business owners will not be required to surrender any ownership of their company for the awards.
"A 2017 Federal Reserve bank reports that almost half of all U.S. businesses are looking for external capital to scale their company," Fenton said. "The 'Pitch To Win' competition creates a unique and engaging opportunity for small business owners who face this reality every day."
Semifinalists will be announced in August on the companies' social media platforms. After the event, winners will be announced in October.
"BlueVine is excited to partner with Nationwide to give business owners an opportunity to supercharge their business growth. Growing a business takes hard work, dedication, and often a fair amount of funding, and we hope the contest can highlight that effort and bring business owners one step closer to their dreams," stated BlueVine CEO and founder Eyal Lifshitz. "For us at BlueVine, the contest marks another important step toward a deeper and more meaningful partnership with Nationwide and our joint mission to help small businesses grow."
BlueVine was founded in 2013 and provides online financing for small and medium-sized businesses. It has provided nearly $2 billion in financing to such businesses in the United States.
Date Published: May 30, 2019