The competition pits 20 businesses – all between two and five years old and earning less than $500,000 – against each other as they develop a business plan and receive coaching over several months.
It culminates in one night where eight finalists present their ideas to a panel of judges for cash prizes. The jury evaluates the candidates according to the answers to the questions and their arguments.
Some pitches included giving the judges their own Polaroid cameras or baskets of popcorn. Others involved tearing up a resume. Lauren Kutschke, SEO writer and founder of Salted Pages, received the top prize of $10,000 and an invitation to speak with Mayor Mattie Parker on her podcast.
Judges like Ori Fernandez, deputy director of economic development for Fort Worth, said Kutschke’s speech stood out for its personality and marketability.
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