Calling all entrepreneurs! Valley Innovators is launching an entrepreneurial program and pitch contest.
Valley Innovators is a mission-driven company focused on educating, mentoring, and providing access to capital for startup companies throughout California. They are based in Fresno.
“The launch of Valley Innovators couldn’t come at a better time,” says Jennifer Lopez, CEO and Founder of Valley Innovators. “Fresno has multiple emerging programs that will tie in well with the initiatives planned by Valley Innovators.”
Classes and networking opportunities offered
Programs offered through Valley Innovators include online and in-person classes as well as networking opportunities. The first series of classes begins Aug. 29. Participants will learn about creating a business plan and get tips on acquiring customers.
“We expect our startups to be top-tier companies,” Lopez says. “We have secured leaders from various sectors to participate in the vetting of applicants and to judge the pitch contest.”
Winners of pitch contest split $100,000
The first pitch contest will take place in March 2019 following the completion of the first round of educational programs. It’s kind of like “Shark Tank,” but Valley Innovators says they won’t require an equity stake from founders to win the prize money.
“We have a stellar team in place with experience building companies, running accelerators, and hosting successful pitch contests,” says Jamin Brazil, Valley Innovators Co-Founder and General Partner at Vine Ventures. “We’re excited about the knowledge and capital we will provide founders. Valley Innovators is a great platform to showcase the next generation of entrepreneurs that come out of California.”
The pitch contest will be made up of 15 startup companies. The founders of those companies will pitch their concept to a group of judges. The cash prize of $100,000 will be divided among the top three finishers.
There’s a $50 fee to enter the pitch contest. Participants are also required to attend at least one of Valley Innovators educational events. There is a $25 sign-up fee for each of the classes.
Some of the business leaders connected to Valley Innovators include Steve Miller, President and CEO of Fresno First Ban, Steve Canfield, Executive Vice President and CFO of Fresno First Bank, and Dora Westerlund, founder and CEO of the Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation.
To learn more about Valley Innovators and to sign up for the Aug. 29 kickoff event, visit ValleyInnovators.com.