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Lack of capital is one of the top causes for the steep decline in startup rates in rural America. PitchFork offers a uniquely local solution to this challenge by providing a fun, no-pressure networking event for local investors to learn about promising local business ventures and for local entrepreneurs to learn more about the pitch process.
PitchFork began in the fall of 2016 to strengthen pitch skills in entrepreneurs and build connections with all sorts of “investors” in the community – banks, funds, individuals, regional development corporations, etc. The goal is to encourage local investment – large and small; equity, loans and grants – into local economic growth. We believe that local investment offers our community greater control to shape the local economy. Local investing decisions can target the start and growth of businesses that reflect the values and the culture of the individuals and institutions in the region. Relationships between entrepreneurs and investors strengthen the fabric of our local economy by connecting leaders in our community with entrepreneurs in a meaningful way to build valuable networks, provide invaluable support, and increase the chances that local ventures will survive and thrive.
Our low-key PitchFork events connect entrepreneurs with potential investors one to two times a year. Separately, the PitchFork Challenge grew in conjunction with our Radically Rural Summit and offers a cash prize.
Companies who are ready to grow and need $10K-$100K in order to do so have an opportunity to present their business opportunity to the public and invited guests. HGC’s PitchFork Growth event will bring together companies who are ready to grow and people who want to invest locally. We host this in partnership with REDC who provides technical assistance to help each entrepreneur be ready to take on capital.
PitchFork offers a convenient way to reach a wide range of investors, bankers, revolving loan funds and individuals all in one evening. The hope is that these potential investors, lenders, and service providers will connect with businesses following the event in order to aggregate funds from several sources to provide the capital to grow. HGC will coach you through the process of getting your business ready for a due diligence process as well as the all important pitch. To apply to be part of PitchFork contact email@example.com.
Investors and Lenders
This PitchFork event has evolved to coach the entrepreneurs for readiness to take on outside capital from potential lenders and investors. These businesses will be ready to discuss investments and loan terms with interested parties after the event and the impact on their business of such an investment/loan. This event will be a good way to hear from budding local business owners who are ready to grow and to be part of their growth story as a lender or investor.
We invite you to be part of the event if you are interested in investing or lending to local businesses and if you’re a business owner looking to grow, we invite you to apply to be part of the event.
SEC laws prevent deals from being specifically discussed with a non-accredited investor group which fortunately, for all, means NO PRESSURE! Businesses will contact only investors who have expressed interest and will follow up only after the event. That leaves everyone free to enjoy the local food, signature cocktail and other interesting local characters before and after the pitches. If you are interested in joining the mailing list to learn about upcoming events, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to Launch Your Own PitchFork Challenge
Read our updated how to” guide and lessons learned putting together our pitch competition. This is a valuable reference tool to guide any small community interested in supporting their entrepreneurial community with a fun pitch competition.