10 Northeast Ohio start-up and existing WOB businesses competed for $22,000 in awards
Submitted by KeyBank
KeyBank’s Key4Women program and SCORE Cleveland announced Cleveland Flower Walls as the winner of the second annual business pitch contest for women-owned businesses located throughout Northeast Ohio. The event was held Tuesday, October 4th at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland.
Denisha Anderson, owner of Cleveland Flower Walls, won the grand prize of $10,000, which she said will go toward hiring an additional employee, purchasing needed inventory to meet the growing demand and updating their website to handle client volume.
“I’ve learned persistence is KEY! No pun intended,” said Anderson. “Keeping your head tucked and developing your product will pay off. You just have to believe it will work and it will work.”
Cleveland Flower Walls was one of 10 finalists selected to compete for cash awards totaling $22,000 from a pool of 193 applicants. All participants were judged by a panel in one of two categories, start-up business or existing business. Other winners include:
UAVistas LLC - $2,500 business start-up runner-up award
Providing Pawsable - $2,500 existing business runner-up award
DenTemp, LLC - $1,000 award
Diabetes Wellness - $1,000 award
SLA Video Productions - $1,000 award
Wayne Holmes Health LLC - $1,000 award
Waggin' Trails, LLC - $1,000 award
Multitudes Exclusive Styling Studios INC - $1,000 award
Beth E. Lin, O.D., LLC - $1,000 award
“Having the opportunity to work with KeyBank, Key4Women and all of the participants in this competition yet again has been rewarding and valuable,” said Robert Cohen, Chairman and Certified Small Business Mentor at SCORE Cleveland. “We congratulate Cleveland Flower Walls and thank all who took part in this year’s event, which was a valuable resource and networking opportunity for small business owners and entrepreneurs in our community.”
SCORE provided application support and mentorship to women-owned businesses throughout the application process and provided workshops and mentoring to the finalists to help them prepare their pitches.
“We congratulate Daneisha Anderson, owner of Cleveland Flower Walls, on winning the grand prize of the second annual Key4Women and SCORE Cleveland Pitch Contest. Daneisha’s pitch was captivating and inspiring, and we are so glad to help them grow and expand,” said Rachael Sampson, National Director for Key4Women and Key@Work. “Women business owners and leaders positively impact our economy and communities in powerful ways every day, which is evident based on the strength and diversity of the applications we received. Key4Women and SCORE are committed to helping entrepreneurs across Northeast Ohio achieve their visions and grow their businesses into thriving ventures.”
To be eligible, businesses were required to be 51 percent owned, controlled, operated and managed by a woman or women. They must also be headquartered in Ashtabula, Carroll, Cuyahoga, Erie, Geauga, Harrison, Holmes, Huron, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit, Tuscarawas or Wayne counties.
The finalists presented a 4-minute pitch and fielded questions for six minutes on October 4th at Cuyahoga Community College, where the event was livestreamed from.
Final awards were chosen by a panel of five judges, which included:
Tiffaney Beatty – KeyBank Vice President & Senior Area Retail Leader
Barbara Daniel – Publisher & Editor – The Cleveland Women’s Journal
Constance Hill-Johnson – Owner & Managing Director – Visiting Angels Living Assistance Services
Kelly Lamirand – KeyBank Cleveland Market President
Meltrice D. Sharp – Managing Partner – Creating Leading Enterprises Consulting Firm
Criteria used to determine winners included the quality of the presentation, clarity of business vision and mission, economic impact of the idea and the soundness of value proposition.
KeyCorp's roots trace back nearly 200 years to Albany, New York. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Key is one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $187.0 billion on June 30, 2022. Key provides deposit, lending, cash management, and investment services to individuals and businesses in 15 states under the name KeyBank National Association through a network of approximately 1,000 branches and approximately 1,300 ATMs. Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets trade name. For more information, visit https://www.key.com/. KeyBank is Member FDIC.
Key4Women started in 2005 as a campaign to lend $1 billion to qualified women-owned businesses within three years. The program achieved that in two years and has now generated more than $12 billion in loans to women-owned businesses. Membership in Key4Women is free. In addition to helping women business leaders and owners tap into capital to build and grow their businesses, Key4Women members gain valuable access to a team of local Certified Key4Wome Advisors who advocate, connect and empower women on their journey to financial wellness. For more information, visit key.com/key4women.
ABOUT SCORE CLEVELAND
Since 1964, SCORE has helped 11 million entrepreneurs to start or grow a business. SCORE's 10,000 volunteers provide free mentoring, workshops and educational services to 1,500+ communities nationwide, creating 45,027 new businesses and 74,535 non-owner jobs in 2020 alone. Visit SCORE at www.score.org. Follow @SCOREMentors on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
KeyCorp's roots trace back 190 years to Albany, New York. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Key is one of the nation's largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $176.2 billion at March 31, 2021. Key provides deposit, lending, cash management, and investment services to individuals and businesses in 15 states under the name KeyBank National Association through a network of approximately 1,100 branches and more than 1,400 ATMs. Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets trade name. For more information, visit https://www.key.com/. KeyBank is Member FDIC.
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