Just Us Photography & Design by Turlock is the winner of Stanislaus Equity Partners’ new Micro Business Development Hub Pitch Competition.
Described as Stanislaus County’s adaptation of the hit TV show “Shark Tank,” businesses from across the county have the opportunity to share their vision with the community through creative sketches and presentations in hopes of receiving additional support from the organization and its partners. .
“This year is the first time doing this cohort, so it’s really a pilot project for us to learn and identify areas where we can improve and serve the community better,” said Monica Vega, Stanislaus Small Business Services Manager Pull said equity partner.
Vergara shared that the organization’s mission is to connect, neighbors, resources and opportunities so local small businesses can thrive. She explained that the Micro Enterprise Development Centre and its pitch competition are a unique and interesting opportunity to achieve these goals.
“We worked with the Valley Sierra SBDC to develop a six-month cohort,” Vergara said. “We invite businesses to join, both conceptually and in the process of building their businesses.”
According to Vergara, 10 to 15 businesses volunteered to join the new program earlier this year. Before being able to pitch their business idea to a panel of judges in August, they had to complete a six-month cohort with the Valley Sierra Small Business Development Center, where they had to multitask.
“We finalized the participants who completed the business plan, and they had to identify their members, familiarize themselves with their finances and other things like that, in order to prepare a solid pitch for the judges,” she explained.
After a six-month cohort, five more businesses can market their businesses in August. 30 Weaving Centre in Modesto.
“What’s really great is that we have businesses from all over the county participating. Businesses from Patterson, Riverbank, Turlock, Modesto and Ceres. It’s a very diverse group, which is great to see,” Vergara said.
The first place winner of the course competition, Just Us Photography & Design of Turlock, received a $1,650 Small Business Award and will continue to receive technical support from Stanislaus Equity Partners Small Business Services as they continue their entrepreneurial efforts.
While the first game is only a few weeks away, Stanislaus Equity Partners is already looking forward to the next game.
“Now that we have completed the first one, we have high hopes for 2023,” she said.
Beginning Oct. 1, small businesses in Stanislaus County can begin applying for next year’s competition to begin the qualifying process for the second pitching competition. According to Vergara and Turlock economic development director Anthony Sims, there are plans to host the next race in Turlock.
“Having the winner from Turlock is fantastic and really shows how much potential this city and its business owners have,” Sims said. “This is their first experience with MicroBusiness Hub and after evaluating it, plans to do it again…I always implore Monica to do the next one in Turlock.”
Vergara encourages anyone interested in learning more or participating in the next Micro Business Development Hub Pitch Competition to follow Stanislaus Equity Partners at @StanislausEquityPartners on Facebook and @stanislaus_equity_partners on Instagram. Just Us Photography & Design will share their stories and experiences at The Pitch on Wednesday Turlock Magazine.