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The business plans have been submitted and six entrepreneurs will present their ideas to judges in THE CENTER for Entrepreneurial Excellence’s first-ever Entrepreneurial PITCH competition, titled “THE Great Lebanon County PITCH”. The live event, slated for Wednesday, November 17, 2021 from 3:00-5:00 p.m., will award $8000 in prize money to be divided by the winners to help kick start their business.

According to The CENTER chairperson Karen Groh, the contestants will be judged on their written business plan and in-person presentation in front of five judges from the private and public sector.

“The contestants submitted an intent to participate months ago, and were guided to online resources, workshops presented by SCORE and one-on-one mentoring. Each finalist submitted a written business plan that was reviewed by the judges,” said Groh. “Judges are representatives from SCORE, the City of Lebanon, Fulton Bank, EnVision Financial, and Ben Franklin Technology Partners.”

Groh noted that the judging will be based on a rubric with 65% of the score on the written business plan and 35% on the presentation itself. Each participant will have 5 minutes to present with an additional 5 minutes for the judges to ask questions. The judges will award the top winner $5000 and the second place winner $2000. In addition, a $1000 “fan favorite” prize will be determined by the audience — both in-person and online — through a voting app.

“The public is invited to attend in-person, however reservations must be made in advance as space is limited. To follow CDC guidelines, unvaccinated attendees are asked to wear a mask inside,” said Groh. “For those who cannot attend in person, a ZOOM option is available to watch and participate in the voting. You must still register to get the link before the event.”

Much of the support to host the event has come from investors including Platinum supporter Fulton Bank. “Each day, our team at Fulton Bank works with local businesses to secure financing and provide financial services to help them grow,” said Krista Darr, Senior Vice President and Regional Commercial Executive for Fulton Bank. “We know that many of those businesses started with a compelling idea and an entrepreneur with the commitment and energy to pursue it. That’s why we’re excited to invest in the Lebanon County PITCH, showcasing future entrepreneurs!”

The PITCH has been in the works for the past year, with Covid playing a major role in the delay. “I am proud to say The Center is back and continues to provide support through resources and mentoring programs for entrepreneurs to develop ideas and help build our local economy,” concluded Groh.

THE Great Lebanon County PITCH” will be held at the new CENTER offices at 989 Quentin Road, Suite 1, Lebanon, PA as well as virtually via Zoom. There is no cost to watch either the in-person or virtual options. Reservations are required by sign-up. For those joining virtually, a link to watch will be sent closer to the event.