TVFCU Announces Five Finalists In $100000 Idea Leap Grant Competition – Chattanooga Pulse


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September 14, 2022
9:58 AM
Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union (TVFCU) has announced the five finalists in the Fifth Annual Idea Leap Grant contest.
These entrepreneurs will participate in a pitch competition as they strive to win one of five grants to support and expand their small business – grand prize: $50,000, first place: $20,000, and three runners-up: $10,000.
This year, nearly 150 small businesses applied for the competition. This was reduced to 23 quarterfinalists, then, after the quarterfinalists submitted videos and hosted site visits, 10 semifinalists were selected. Now, the five Idea Leap Grant finalists for 2022 are:
Be Caffeinated
Mountain View Low Vision Services
Neutral Ground Chattanooga
NewTerra Compost
Sleepyhead Coffee (People’s Choice Award Winner)
“We’re very proud of these five deserving small businesses who have advanced to the Idea Leap Grant finals,” said Tommy Nix, vice president of business and commercial services. “We’d also like to thank the community for electing the People’s Choice Finalist.”
Last week, TVFCU invited the community to vote for their favorite Idea Leap Grant semifinalist via text message. Nearly 3,000 votes were cast, and Sleepyhead Coffee received the most votes, making them the People’s Choice Finalist.
An independent panel of volunteer community judges selected the other four finalists. Dionne Jenkins, vice president of diversity and inclusion at TVFCU, leads the judging committee. Judges include:
For the final stage of this year’s Idea Leap Grant contest, TVFCU will host a pitch competition on Oct. 18 at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center. At this event, each finalist will pitch their business to the judges who will award the five grants.
To further celebrate entrepreneurship in the area, TVFCU is also hosting a luncheon on Oct. 18 featuring several prominent small business owners. Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel P.C. is also teaming up with the credit union to host a reception before the pitch competition.
Each event is open to the public but, due to limited space, they are RSVP-only. Stay tuned to TVFCU’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for registration information.
The Idea Leap Grant is an extension of the credit union’s Idea Leap Loan Initiative that was created specifically for small businesses in 2016. To date, TVFCU has funded more than $4 million in loans to emerging and early-stage businesses through the loan initiative. Furthermore, TVFCU has awarded nearly $200,000 in Idea Leap Grants and scholarships.
For more information about the Idea Leap Grant, please visit tvfcu.com/IdeaLeapGrant.
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September 14, 2022
9:58 AM
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