The 10 participants are: Louise Graham Regeneration Center; The Portico; SailFuture; Indi-Ed; Great Explorations; Javamo Art for Autism; Pinellas County Urban League; CEED; Sewn Apart; and Shephard’s Village.
The Fast Pitch program begins with a free, six-week business accelerator program that provides participants with advice on marketing, operations, leadership, finance, fundraising and more. The accelerator program also trains participants for the culminating Pitch Night, on Oct. 25 at 5:30 p.m. at the Palladium Theatre in St. Petersburg. Fast Pitch will be hosted in partnership with the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay.
Each participant will have only three minutes to make a pitch to an audience of hundreds of important donors, foundations and corporations. In their pitch, participants will share the mission, business model and strategic vision of their organization as they compete for thousands of dollars in prizes, holistic investments from their mentors and a generally higher profile in both the for-profit and non-profit communities of Tampa Bay.
The Fast Pitch competition, also known as “Shark Tank for social entrepreneurs,” is billed as “a celebration of innovation, philanthropy and community.”
According to the Fast Pitch website, participants were selected because they “create elegant solutions to complex social problems,” and they offer “new, non-obvious approaches” to such problems. Participants should expect to work at least two hours a week on their pitch outside of the group sessions held throughout the business accelerator program.
Last year, Echo of Brandon won first place in the Fast Pitch competition, and was awarded $25,000. Wheels of Success won second place and $15,000; Girls Empowered Mentally for Success took third place with $10,000. Total cash prizes last year amounted to $60,000 in unrestricted money.
Tickets to this year’s Fast Pitch may be purchased here.