Monday night in Newark: 30 New Jersey entrepreneurs advance in the Start Something Challenge

Monday night, more than 100 people attended Rising Tide Capital’s Start Something Challenge kick-off event at the Great Oaks Charter School here in Newark to celebrate the 30 semi-finalists who advanced to the next round of the business pitch competition.

Rising Tide chose the semifinalists based on total video views for the 30-second video pitches each competitor submitted. There were six semi-finalist slots for each of five business sectors: fashion and beauty; arts, crafts, and entertainment; food; public, social, and health; and other professional services. Taken together, the entrants’ videos generated over 60,000 views.

The competitors progressed from an initial pool of 107 entrepreneurs from throughout New Jersey, and will be further whittled down to ten before Rising Tide confers the $10,000 first prize.

Semi-finalist BJ Dowlen of Bodyworks Enterprises, LLC said the competition in itself helped advance her business. “Since my submission into the SSC, I’ve created 5 videos for clients looking to advertise their business,” she said. “I am winner, because I learned an important skill set that has been an asset to my current business.”

Rising Tide Capital CEO Alfa Demmellash said she was impressed with the quality and diversity of the pitches. She also thanked lead sponsor JP Morgan Chase for “supporting our mission and entrepreneurs from the very beginning.”

The event featured remarks from a number of notables, including a keynote address from FEMWORKS CEO Kimberlee S. Williams, and further remarks by attendees representing JP Morgan Chase, The Star Ledger, and Brick City Development Corporation.

The Start Something Challenge website will host the 30 semifinalists’ videos for public viewing and voting between October 23 and November 6, 2013. Ten finalists will participate in a live pitch event in Jersey City on November 18 to determine the three winners who will receive cash prizes at the Start Something Champions Gala on December 10.

For more information about Start Something Challenge events, visit their website.

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