Summer Pitch Fest a big success

(From left to right) Ronalda Minnis and Shanel Poole with Mark Roger, Center Director at SOURCE RW

(From left to right) Ronalda Minnis and Shanel Poole with Mark Roger, Center Director at SOURCE RW

On June 28th, SOURCE RW hosted the third Pitch Fest with participants competing for a $2000 cash business assistance prize. 

Six entrepreneurs successfully competed the 10-week Business Owners Education Series- Kauffman FastTrac® New Ventures making them eligible to pitch their ideas to local judges. Participants bravely and boldly told the stories of how their businesses came to be, services/products offered, who their target market is, and what sets them apart – all to a packed house!

Participation in the Kauffman FastTrac® New Ventures Series is underwritten by a grant from JPMorgan Chase Foundation and Pitch Fest prize money is provided through the generosity of the IU Kelley School of Business at IUPUI! With businesses as diverse as window cleaning, business consulting, property management, and more, and with participants truly putting their best foot forward, the judges had a tough job ahead of them. After deliberating, the judges determined that the decision couldn’t be narrowed down to just one and ended up naming two winners. Both winners were also presented with one-year memberships to Indiana Originals.  Indiana Originals is a statewide directory of products, services, artisans, and businesses established and operating in Indiana with a mission to encourage a local preference and facilitate a greater use of local businesses, services, art, food and more.

The winners were Ronalda Minnis who presented her business: Minnis Consulting (specializing in supplier diversity and inclusion solutions) and Shanel Poole who presented her business: Finesse by Shanel (specializing in life skills and self-sufficiency curriculum for girls ages 9-18).

Honorable mentions include:

Chaunda Fabio – Creative Custom Crafts

Eric Hetland – Hetland Property Management

Al Talison – Benchmark Window and Specialty Cleaning, Inc.

Tia Williams – LifeSavers Plus, LLC.


A special thank you to our Pitch Fest judges:

Mel McMahon Stone, Co-founder of Indiana Originals

Leanne Emery, Certified Mentor with SCORE Chapter 6

Hannah Northup, Owner of NorthupHR

Todd Saxton, Associate Professor, Strategy and Entrepreneurship, IU Kelley School of Business at IUPUI

And, of course, thank you to all who came to support our participants! As any business owner can tell you, having the help and support from friends and family can make all the difference in the world to an entrepreneur.

Join us for the next Business Owners Education Series- Kauffman FastTrac® New Ventures held October 4 - December 13, 2018. For more info and to confirm that the series is a good fit, contact Executive Director, Mark Roger, at or by calling 317-737-2155.

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