The Annual Startup Fest is an accelerated event for Startups who have a desire to launch or grow their businesses in Battle Creek. New this year, Generation E’s Center for Entrepreneurship program facilitated a pilot mentoring program in partnership with Battle Creek Vision (BCVision) Small Business Action Team. The mentees in this group have guided us in the decision to make Startup Fest part of the mentoring program.
The event itself will be a one day event, as the mentees and mentors having been meeting and working on the growth of their businesses over a course of months. The event will kick off with presentations from the City of Battle Creek and the Battle Creek Area Chamber of Commerce as requested by the mentees followed by time for mentees to practice their pitches with their peers and mentors before “pitching” their businesses to a panel of judges and community members. Each mentee will have an opportunity to participate and compete for a total of $4,500 in cash prizes.
This year, five startups (mentees), eleven mentors, and approximately fifty community members will participate in the event. For one of the mentees, they are in the process of locating a building to open their food business, while another mentee is working with her mentor in trying to contract with a manufacturer to assist with meeting her demand of product. This event is also open to the public and Generation E plans to invite investors and other business experts to the event. Following the pitches and during the judge’s deliberation there will be time for the mentees, mentors, and community members to network with one another.