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Westchester County Association Hosts Pitch Competition In White Plains

Nuala Rona, founder, Databean, won the first $10K Pitch prize in May. She is shown with Ed Lutz, Greater Hudson Bank, and John Ritacco, CMS Bank, sponsors of the pitch contest in May.
Nuala Rona, founder, Databean, won the first $10K Pitch prize in May. She is shown with Ed Lutz, Greater Hudson Bank, and John Ritacco, CMS Bank, sponsors of the pitch contest in May. Photo Credit:

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- The Westchester County Association will host its second pitch competition this year on Tuesday.

Entrepreneurs will pitch their business ideas in five minutes or less to a panel of distinguished judges. Early-stage companies ready to take their ideas to the next level were invited to participate in the contest, designed to accelerate start-up creation in Westchester County. Spectators are invited to attend and receive a glimpse of what’s on the horizon for Westchester’s start-up scene. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Reckson Metro Center, 360 Hamilton Ave. in White Plains.

“The WCA’s pitch competitions are about expanding the existing start-up community in Westchester County, supporting our growing entrepreneurial ecosystem, and fostering innovation,” said Marissa Brett, WCA president. “And if we do that, we are also driving economic vitality, a main goal of our BLUEPRINT for Westchester.”

The event also presents an opportunity for the Westchester business community to hear from an expert on startups and funding. Christina Bechhold, co-founder and managing director of the New York City angel investment group, Empire Angels, and a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal start-up blog, The Accelerators, will share her expertise on what start-ups need to do to succeed.

The WCA will also hear pitches from young entrepreneurs from the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship, an organization whose mission is to provide programs that inspire young people from low-income communities to stay in school, to recognize business opportunities, and to plan for successful futures.

Pitch Night is part of the WCA’s “Year of Innovation” in Westchester, a series of programs and events designed to celebrate the innovators, job creators, entrepreneurs, and visionaries who are moving Westchester forward. The series kicks off this week with events planned for Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), a worldwide celebration of entrepreneurship and innovation that the WCA is bringing to Westchester, for the first time, and includes a Twitter Chat, Women in Tech Awards luncheon, and the WCA’s signature Leadership Dinner.

In addition to Bechhold, judges for the pitch contest include Andrew Ackerman, managing director, DreamIt Ventures New York; Jeffrey Borenstein, consultant, The Small Business Oracle; John Cohn, managing director, Diamond Capital Advisors; Stanley Freimuth, chief executive officer, Debt Resolve; and John Ritacco, president, CMS Bank.

Tickets are $20 per person and may be purchased online The event is sponsored by Gold Sponsor CMS Bank, Silver Sponsors, Greater Hudson Bank, The Westchester Bank, and Tompkins Mahopac Bank, and Bronze Sponsors Fordham University and Houlihan-Parnes Realtors, LLC.

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