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Program similar to 'Shark Tank' helps local businesses, rewards winner $2,500

Posted at 10:25 PM, Oct 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-16 23:23:16-04

CLEVELAND — They only had four minutes to pitch their businesses like their lives depended on it and the panel of judges did not hold back.

It was the fourth annual Jumpstart and Core City Cleveland fall pitch competition.

Ten entrepreneurs went head-to-head for $2,500 and the nine business owners who didn't win still walked away with $500.

"I'm helping people and I think teachers by trade just have the heart to help and now I'm helping in a bigger way," said Monica Grays, the eventual winner of the grand prize.

Grays owns Second Semester Consignment Shop, a store where educators can go to buy and sell gently used teaching material.

She's expanded her shop to a second location, one in Wickliffe and the other in Collinwood.

"I want to continue this journey, I want to continue growing and being stretched and you'll see more of me soon," she said.

Lorne Novick is a senior partner at Jump Start. He says although the small businesses are most excited about the money, they are looking forward to helping these businesses grow beyond Wednesday night.

"If they go on the journey with us and with other resources that are throughout the city as well, they'll see the benefit of all that effort," said Novick.

The next pitch contest will happen in 2020, if you want more information on how to participate click here.