Entrepreneurs with Drive Take the Stage in Small Batch – Big Ideas Pitch Competition

October 29, 2020 / Share:

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“My ultimate dream is to make my business a legacy, something that is a recognizable brand worldwide, and that people want to be a part of it,” said Annette McNamara, founder of Beautiful Strength.

A teacake baker, a virtual event host, a retail pro and more entrepreneurs went head-to-head today for the mentorship opportunity of a lifetime.

Ten Middle Tennessee small business owners pitched before a panel of professional judges for the opportunity to join Mitsubishi Motors North America’s Small Batch – Big Ideas Entrepreneur Network and receive a year of programming and one-on-one support from Mitsubishi’s top business leaders.

“We’re super excited – we’ve talked about, ‘How do we help an entrepreneurial community in general?’ Just like we are in the automotive industry, we’re entrepreneurs trying to be scrappy and do things differently,” said Kimberley Gardiner, vice president and chief marketing officer of Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc, about the company’s move to the Nashville area. “There’s just so many entrepreneurs in Nashville, it’s so amazing and such a great community.”

Six entrepreneurs walked away with an entrance into the program. Scores were based on their pitch, business model, and alignment with the Small Batch – Big Ideas mission.

  • Monica Smith, founder of PollyAnn’s Teacakes

  • Mel Taylor, founder of splitsecnd

  • Nielah Burnett, founder of InnerG Juice and Yoga

  • Zoe Antell and Jessica Kaplan, co-founders of ready dress go

  • Amanda Latifi, founder of Hafta Have

  • Annette McNamara, founder of Beautiful Strength

As the top-scoring entrepreneur, Mel Taylor also walked away with a 6-month lease to a brand new Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. Audience Favorite winner ready dress go also received a $1,500 scholarship to the Nashville Entrepreneur Center program of their choice.

Special thanks to this panel of professional judges who raised the bar on questions and engagement:

Maneet Chauhan, President and Founder of Morph Hospitality Group, TV Personality, Restaurateur and Author

Amy Tanksley, Owner and Founder of Uncle Classic Barbershop

Clint Smith, Founder of Emma

Kimberley Gardiner, VP and CMO of Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc.

“One big thing that every entrepreneur has as their foundation is ‘Never get comfortable.’ Never get comfortable that you’re doing something right or that this will be the best year. Because something will always happen,” said Chauhan, advising the entrepreneurs who are coming up behind her in a post-COVID world.

We are grateful to Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. for their support of entrepreneurs in our community, and so excited that they have chosen Nashville as their new home! Weren’t able to tune into the event? Check out our recap here!

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