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Michigan Women Forward’s Annual WomanUp & Pitch Competition Returns, Apply by Nov. 10

Michigan Women Forward (MWF), the only public, statewide foundation devoted to Michigan women and girls’ economic and personal well-being, is looking for women entrepreneurs who want to start or grow an existing for-profit business that is at least 51% women-owned. Its annual WomanUp & Pitch competition is back, and applications are now open.

Women entrepreneurs are invited to submit entry applications consisting of a concept paper and a $20 application fee by Nov. 10.  Selected applicants will then pitch to a live audience in one of four virtual pitch competitions: West Michigan, Mar. 3; Mid-Michigan, Mar. 10; Southeast Michigan, Mar. 24; and Statewide, Mar. 31.

After the first pitch competitions, Michigan Women Forward will select 40 finalists (10 in each location) and divide them into two categories per location. The first category, Idea Phase/Startup, will include businesses open for less than three years with a revenue of less than $250,000. The second category, Established/Growth, will consist of businesses open for three years or more and have a revenue greater than $250,000.

The finalists will also pair up with advisers, business coaches, and mentors to create viable business plans and prepare to take the stage to pitch their ideas to a panel of business experts and an audience of entrepreneurs, small business owners, potential investors, and business and community leaders. The business plans, reviewed in advance by each judge, will account for 60% of the final score; the pitch, 40%.

First, second, and third place and audience-choice winners will be selected from each category and location. They will receive a cash prize of $10,000, $5,000, $2,500, and $1,000, respectively.

“WomanUp & Pitch is an amazing opportunity for budding female entrepreneurs to develop their presentation skills, think strategically to create a strong business plan, and make connections with peers and business leaders,” said Carolyn Cassin, president and chief executive officer of Michigan Women Forward.

Learn more about the WomanUp & Pitch competition and apply here.