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Start Something Challenge – Tips from the Judges

Tatyerra Spurlock
July 17, 2018

Tuesday,  July 10, a panel of judges assembled at our regional hub in Newark to judge the Start Something Challenge: EarthRISE 50. This panel of judges reviewed the applications of all 50 entrepreneurs to assess their businesses, community impact, and future goals. Their scores, combined with the public voting helped us find our 15 finalists. Three entrepreneurs from each sector who will pitch live at The Start Something Summit, July 24, at St. Peter’s University in Jersey City.

The panel of judges, made up of lending partners from the Rising Tide Community, shared some great feedback about the ways Rising Tide Entrepreneurs could continue to grow, by improving how they talk about their businesses and become better prepared for future grant and loan opportunities, we wanted to share.

  1. What’s your ROI  (Return on Investment)?
    1. How will you measure the success of the use of the money you win?
  2. Differentiate your business description, your impact statement and your business services.
    1. Your business description is your what, your impact statement is your “why” and your business services is your how. The three aren’t the same and understanding that makes you more attractive to grantees and funders.
  3. Establish your credibility.
    1. Be clear about your experience in your sector, especially if you’re a startup, give a grantee or lender reasons to believe in you.
    2. If you’re a more established business, be clear about that;  your credibility could take you far.
  4. Sometimes less isn’t more.
    1. If there’s a character limit, don’t do yourself a disservice by not giving as much detail as you can about yourself, your experience, your business and your plans for your business. Trying to be concise can often lead to gaps in information that will do more harm than good.
  5. Don’t lead with your financial limitations
    1. Don’t talk about using funds to go into debt, ie. putting the down payment on a storefront or making your first payroll payment without clear plans and savings for the future.

These are just a few of the awesome examples given by our judges, if you would like more support and coaching please call our BAS team, they can help you find a coach to support you on your business’ financial journey.

Thank you to our judges:

Myriam E. Cruz – Myriam Cruz, Vice President, Financial Resources Federal Credit Union

Luis O Dlh – VP Community Development, BCB Community Bank

Juan Jose Castello, Loan Consultant, Accion Serving the East Coast

Al Alvarez, Greater Newark Enterprises Corporation

Alejandra GirónNorth Jersey Federal Credit Union