United Bank Seeks Next Big Idea in Homegrown Startup Pitchfest

Submitted: United Bank

ATMORE, Ala., December 18, 2018 - United Bank, which serves a diverse market encompassing Southwest Alabama and Northwest Florida, has launched the Homegrown Startup Pitchfest, a business plan and "elevator pitch” competition offering a prize pool that totals $40,000. Entries are now being accepted at www.UnitedBank.com/HomegrownStartup. The deadline for submissions is January 11, 2019.

The Homegrown Startup competition includes three distinct elements:

  • A business plan competition to identify finalists
  • Personal coaching to help finalists refine their idea and perfect their pitch
  • A two-minute presentation by finalists before a panel of judges

The grand prize winner will receive $25,000, with $10,000 going to first place and $5,000 going to second place. The prizes are sponsored by Discover Financial Services. United Bank offers the United Bank Discover® Debit Card to its customers, including businesses throughout the region.

"Small business is the driver of our nation’s economy, so we are excited to help create this opportunity for entrepreneurs to access capital and elevate their story,” said United Bank’s President and CEO, Robert R. Jones, III. "Every successful large business began with an idea and a dream. We look forward to seeing the next great company tell its story and begin the journey to a successful future.”

"Community financial institutions like United Bank are vital to the health of the local economies in which they operate,” said Dave Schneider, Discover Senior Vice President, Debit Strategies. "The Homegrown Startup competition is a great opportunity for the bank to make an important contribution by supporting local business. Discover is committed to helping people achieve a brighter financial future, and as United Bank’s debit network, we’re pleased to help make that possible across Southwest Alabama and Northwest Florida.”

The Homegrown Startup is open to aspiring or experienced entrepreneurs who have a big idea or want to take their business to the next level. Entrants must be at least 18 years of age and a resident of Alabama or Florida. For the complete rules, see the contest site.

Ten finalists will be chosen to pitch their locally rooted business ideas to a panel of judges for a chance to win up to $25,000 in seed money. The final event will take place March 28, 2019, at the Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Ala. Finalists will present their two minute pitch before a live audience and panel of judges. The winners will be announced at the event.

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