SCORE Chapter 87 & Bethune-Cookman University PitchFest Winners Announced at BizFest
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By: SCORE 87
There were three PitchFest categories; Student, Existing Business, and Emerging Business, with a total of 30 submissions. First place in the Student Business category was Miguel Ledet of Royal Music Productions - the company would provide affordable music production services to local musicians. Second place was Stella Parris of Legacy. The company interviews and preserves veteran's legacies. First place in the Emerging Business category went to Byron Catroppa of Tidal Rides, LLC. Tidal Rides is a golf-cart taxi service that operates in Flagler Beach, taking tourists and residents around town in a golf cart. Second place in the Emerging category was Kathryn Neel of My School Tech Hub. The company is a resource for schools, teachers and parents by providing technology education for students from K-12. First place in the Existing Business category was Rob Cassata of Cogent Solar, Inc. The company creates roof gutter systems with integrated solar energy strips to provide electric power and hot water to homes. Second place in the Existing category was Curtis Ceballos of DIGITZ. The company is a payment gateway that allows consumers to use their fingerprint for the purpose of conducting business transactions.
"We are grateful to BCU, their student volunteers, the event sponsors, the attendees, and everyone that contributed to the success of this first time event," said Tom Hellman, President of SCORE 87. "We had 375 people register to attend the event, and well as 41 table top exhibitors,"
The event planning committee consisted of John Anderson and Debbie Lashinsky of Score Chapter 87, and Casandra Stroy and Roslyn O'Neal of BCU. Michael Zaharios III, Program Director at the Florida High Tech Corridor Council, and founder of 1 Million Cups, Startup Weekend and Elevate Daytona, served as the event's emcee.
The keynote speaker was Heather Post, President and CEO of The Heather Post Companies and she spoke about the importance of acknowledgement and finding out what a difference it can make in your life. Wendy Sellers, a managing partner with BlackRain Partners, LLC, gave a talk on "Cross Generational Marketing". There were two panels - one on 'How to be an Entrepreneur' with Michael A. Zaharious III, Nancy Tedeschi, Entrepreneur, Inventor of the "Snapit Screw", Ky Ekinci, Entrepreneur, Co-Founder of Office Divvy, and Connie Garzon-Bernal, MBA, CBA Assoc. Dir., Site Mgr. UCF Incubator Volusia. The second panel was on "Social Media Marketing" with Sue Couslin, "Moderator" CEO EZ Marketing LLC, SCORE Director & Certified Mentor, Cindy Dalecki, owner of Marketing 2 Go, an entrepreneur, and owner of the firm, James Blasco, Digital Sales Manager, Daytona News-Journal/
There were also round table discussions on financing your business, healthcare plans, and free SCORE services.
Event producers included Brown & Brown, Florida Health Care Plans, Daytona Beach News-Journal SunTrust, and Volusia County Economic Development, Florida Hospitals, and Flagler County Economic Development.
The Volusia/Flagler SCORE Chapter celebrated its 50th year serving clients in 2015. Last year, they provided over 1,400 counseling services for some 775 entrepreneurs, many of whom have gone on to start businesses or improve existing businesses. In addition, the Chapter conducts free workshop programs, in collaboration with the UCF Incubator, which attracted over 2,100 attendees last year. The Chapter has also received the Platinum Rating by the National SCORE Organization as one of the top Chapters nationwide.
Pictured L to R: James Blasco-Digital Sales Manager, Daytona Beach News-Journal, Sue Couslin-Moderator, SCORE mentor/director, social media panel participant & CEO of EZ Marketing, John Anderson-SCORE director/mentor & event organizer, Cindy Dalecki-social media panel participant & owner of Marketing 2 Go, Michael Zahrious, and Donna Loader-Constant Contact & Social media panel participant.
SCORE "Counselors to America's Small Business" is a nonprofit association dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and the formation, growth and success of small business nationwide. SCORE is a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Both working and retired executives and business owners donate time and expertise as business counselors. SCORE was founded in 1964 and provides free business counseling, management consulting, and free workshops. SCORE counselors help people start a business or assist an existing small business grow and prosper. The Daytona Beach main office is staffed Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Client meetings are held at various locations throughout Volusia and Flagler Counties as well as via email and telephone.
They can be reached at 386-255-6889 http://score87.org/