FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS SHOWCASED IN S.H.E. PITCH COMPETITION

The Frederick County Chamber of Commerce recently wrapped up S.H.E. Week 2021 — a week-long program focused on empowering and developing women through education, networking, mentoring and partnerships.

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A special S.H.E. pitch competition featuring cash prizes was added to the line-up of events this year. The new event was brought together as a collaborative effort between the Chamber, The City of Frederick and Frederick County Economic Development teams, and the Maryland Women’s Business Center.

The competition was designed for women-owned businesses in both the “idea stage” and the “growth stage.” All registrants to the event gained access to a professional pitch creator program that helped guide them through the process of creating a catchy elevator pitch, an investment summary, and a slide presentation deck. Finalists were given the opportunity to compete in front of an experienced panel of judges and a live audience.

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“The S.H.E. Pitch competition added a really important component to our event series this year. The opportunity for our women entrepreneurs to showcase their business, their passion, creativity and vision using some common metrics and a consistent platform was really powerful. I was literally blown away by all of the presentations, and it once again affirms that Frederick’s business community is richly diverse and that women are truly transforming our local business ecosystem.” – Rick Weldon, Frederick County Chamber of Commerce

Below we caught up with just a few of this year’s finalists for their reflections on the S.H.E. Pitch Experience:


IDEA STAGE FINALIST

MAIN STREET MIXOLOGY

PROBLEM:

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There are currently no shops in Downtown Frederick completely devoted to craft spirits, mixology and the home bar. Consumers currently need to visit 4 to 5 stores to get everything needed to create craft cocktails at home.

SOLUTION :

Main Street Mixology will offer a full range of Frederick’s craft spirits, mixers, bar tools and decor, as well as in store cocktails and take home kits. We’ll host classes and events at our convenient downtown location and be Frederick’s one-stop-shop for all things craft cocktail!

“The SHE-pitch competition pushed me to learn aspects of business that are often intimidating for entrepreneurs- presenting to investors, financial goals and projections, and marketing strategy to name a few. The passion is there, but getting comfortable with numbers and strategy was something I needed to learn to be successful going forward.

My partner and I are working hard to secure funding to open our downtown store, and we can’t wait to wow Frederick’s cocktail enthusiasts with what we have to offer!

— Noelle Tate, Main Street Mixology
IDEA STAGE FINALISTUNDISCLOSED BUSINESS

Due to the early nature of their business concept, Allie Kirsh’s business concept is not ready to be publicly announced. She was happy, however, to share:

“The pitch competition was an incredible experience, and we feel so humbled to have been a part of it. We went from a newly registered business to pitch competition finalist in a matter of 3 months, and that’s something we’re extremely proud of.

We got the opportunity to learn from a powerhouse of women entrepreneurs, and the feedback we received helped us fine tune our business model fundamentals. The businesses we competed alongside were all very inspiring; Women empowering Women, it’s the greatest support system! We are especially grateful for the MWBC and the guidance we received from our counselor (Karen Kalantzis).

Being somewhat of a niche business, we struggled to produce an elevator speech and a way to come across to the public. The work we did on our Investment Summary and Slide Deck helped us sharpen our plan into a simple and concise pitch; one that we can confidently bring to any audience! We are so grateful for the experience, and we look forward to learning and growing with this community as our business also grows in the future!

— Allie Kirsh, Pitch Contestant

GROWTH STAGE FINALIST

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CARR TECH

PROBLEM:

The current method for preparing injectable medications can lead to dangerous glass shard medication contamination for the patient, and, presents a high risk of needle stick injuries for the healthcare provide, ass well as increasing preparation time.

SOLUTION:

CarrTech has developed FROG (Filter Removal of Glass), an all-in-one filter device which cuts medication preparation time in half and ensures that the process is performed correctly. FROG has a combined filter and a single hypodermic needle all in one, simplifying the medication preparation process and virtually eliminating the possibility of needle stick injuries.

“I was extremely honored to be selected to pitch for CarrTech, and given a platform to educate the Frederick community. Frederick county healthcare workers should expect to see FROG stocked on their shelves next year.

— Sue Carr, Carr Tech

ODIN CROSSFIT

GROWTH STAGE WINNER

PROBLEM:

For many people, their lives are jammed packed with family and work which require them to shoulder many stressful responsibilities. They don’t spend the time or know how to take care of themselves physically and emotionally. This is the 3rd home dilemma. —- Everyone has a family home and work home; but what about the home where their only responsibility is themselves? Where can they work to be better physically, mentally and emotionally? Where can they go for support and guidance in improving themselves in all aspects of their life?

SOLUTION:

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Imagine a place where adults can go that provides them with a prescription for their fitness/physical health while providing them with the social support system to improve their mental and emotional health as well. This is what ODIN CrossFit provides for the working adults within our community.

We are the 3rd home for people. Our 1hr group CrossFit classes provide the physical fitness program people need as well as a stress outlet and a place for them to be themselves while they strive to always be their best. A Humble, Healthy, Happy person is a more productive member of society and will raise Humble, Healthy, Happy children. Changing their life and helping them to always be the best version of themselves will in turn change future generations.

“I am so grateful for not only the S.H.E Pitch experience but that the panel saw the positive impact ODIN CrossFit will be able to have on the community as we prepare to move to Downtown Frederick. We are so excited to be able to expand and grow our membership while being a part of the Downtown community. We are ready to spice up the North side of Downtown Frederick and provide people with the best 1hr. of their day.

— Allison Jachowski, ODIN Crossfit

“With over 50 applicants for this first ever S.H.E. Pitch event, the City’s Department of Economic Development was thrilled to work behind the scenes – watching these female entrepreneurs learn new skills, refine their business models and improve their pitch,” shared Mary Ford-Naill, DED Economic Development Manager.  “We look forward to seeing these businesses develop and grow in Frederick! “


 If you have a super business idea, and are ready to start your entrepreneurship journey, please reach out to the City’s Department of Economic Development at 301.600.6360 or email vog.d1634847158mkcir1634847158ederf1634847158foyti1634847158c@sse1634847158nisub1634847158 .

Photos by Ak’s GraFix & Photo

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