As you may know, the Craft Brewing Business team is located in Cleveland, so we are contractually obligated to mention cool craft beer news from the area when it pops up. For example: Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream and Entrepreneur Media announced that Cleveland-based Brewnuts won their Pitch Room Wild Card Competition.
The Pitch Room Competition is part of Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream, a micro-lending and coaching program that provides a unique combination of access to capital and expert business advice for food, beverage, craft brewing and hospitality small businesses. As an important extension of the program’s coaching and mentoring activities, the Pitch Room Competition has played a key role in helping small business owner’s better position and communicate about their products.
The Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program was launched in 2008, in partnership with Accion, the nation’s leading nonprofit provider of small business capital and coaching. To date, it has provided more than $3 million in microloans to over 375 small businesses nationwide, coached more than 4,000 entrepreneurs and helped create or retain more than 2,000 jobs.
Brewnuts is a Cleveland-based small business, established by Shelley Fasulko and John Pippin in 2013, that combines doughnuts and craft beers. Made by hand, these decadent treats use the best possible ingredients including craft beers that are available in and around the Cleveland area. What’s resulted are high-quality, very fresh doughnuts that also reflect flavors of the season.
Brewnuts will now advance to the New York City finals to compete for $10,000 business grant and extended mentoring from Samuel Adams. Pretty cool.
Hosted by Entrepreneur.com, the virtual Pitch Room Wild Card competition started November 3 and invited entrepreneurs with a food or beverage product to upload a two-minute or less video of their best sales pitch. A panel of experts from Samuel Adams and Entrepreneur judged the videos based on criteria that included pitch quality, creativity, passion and product viability.
The top 5 to 6 best video submissions, selected by the panel, were then posted to the Entrepreneur site, and the general public was invited to vote for their favorite. Because Brewnuts received the most votes for their sales pitch, they were named the Wild Card winner, and will now receive a trip for two to participate in the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream Pitch Room finals on Dec. 4. Held in New York City, the finals are the culmination of the overall Pitch Room Competition, which is designed to help entrepreneurs across the country perfect the art of the sales pitch.
At the finals, the Wild Card winner will compete with fellow small business owners from across the country who won in-person Pitch Room competitions in Chicago, Denver, Boston and New York. Each Pitch Room finalist will give their best two-minute sales pitch to a panel of expert judges including national retail buyers and Samuel Adams founder and brewer Jim Koch. The judges will then provide constructive feedback for each small business owner before choosing the best pitch, and the ultimate 2014 Pitch Room winner will be awarded a $10,000 business grant and extended mentoring from Samuel Adams.