Shelby entrepreneur wins competition.

May 10, 2019

Kelley

Shelby entrepreneur wins competition.

FREMONT – Tara Kelley, owner of The Bohemian Boutique in Shelby, won the first place prize of $4,000 in the inaugural Pitch North entrepreneurial competition Wednesday, May 8, at the Dogwood Center for Performing Arts.

Kelley will be adding a “Suspended Coffees” shop to her boutique.

Taking second place with a $2,500 prize was Hesperia’s Deanna Dickinson for her idea, “Truffles and Goodies Lady,” which makes waterproof purses, ID wallet lanyards and coin purses.

Five female entrepreneurs for the area pitched their business ideas

Dickinson

to a panel of judges and an audience of over 50 people. They were competing for the chance to win over $8,000 in cash prizes to bring their ideas to life.

Pitch North was designed to spark entrepreneurial change and encourage more small businesses to start in Newaygo, Oceana, and Lake counties. Pitch North received 20 business idea submissions, from which five finalists were selected to pitch at the live event. Each entrepreneur had five minutes to present, and judges had an opportunity to ask questions directly following.

“Every one of our finalists worked very hard to prepare for this event,” said Julie Burrell, business development coordinator – Newaygo County, The Right Place, Inc. “They stepped outside of their comfort zone in an effort to move their business idea forward, which is exactly why this event was created.”

The third place prize went to Camelia Hollinger of Grant for “Pretty Pop-ups,” a provider of renovated and affordable pop-up campers.

Kelley will also receive in-kind services from H&S Companies and Eric R. Fox, Attorney at Law. Dickinson will receive in-kind services from The Stream and Fox.

The remaining two finalists, Ericka Freriks of Fremont, “Baking Beauty Custom Cakes,” and Sandra Bernard of Newaygo, “Red Boots Kids’ Books,” will each receive $500 cash prizes.

Hesperia Area Chamber of Commerce Tourism and Membership Director Mark Kraus, Hart City Manager Lynn Ladner, Northern Initiatives Commercial Lender Melissa Marietti-Evans, SVP Commercial Lending at Edgewater Bank Don Farmer and Kruitoff Electric Owner Mike Kruitoff volunteered as judges for the event.

Pitch North was made possible through funding from the West Michigan Prosperity Alliance and Northern Initiatives.

This story is copyrighted © 2019, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.

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