13 Eastern Kentucky finalists take part in the Invest 606 Demo Day event

WYMT Mountain News Weekend Edition newscast at 11 p.m. on Saturday
Published: Jan. 22, 2022 at 7:24 PM EST
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PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - On Saturday, January 22, 13 of Eastern Kentucky’s brightest business owners and entrepreneurs gathered under one roof to speak on why they deserve to win $15,000.

“Oh, this is a game changer for Eastern Kentucky,” said Mandi Sheffel, owner of the Read Spotted Newt and Invest 606 finalist.

The Invest 606 business accelerator and pitch competition is an opportunity for Eastern Kentucky business owners and entrepreneurs to gain valuable insight on branding, accounting, and other skillsets to help expand their businesses and organizations.

“We’ve got people who grow mushrooms and sell them commercially, we’ve got a bookstore, we’ve got tourism, its just a great mix of businesses and so, they’ll pitch today, very low-stakes, friendly atmosphere and then in April, we’ll have our final pitch competition,” said Geoff Marietta, Invest 606 founder.

On Saturday, the finalists were critiqued on their pitches but in April, the 13 finalists will present before a panel of judges where only one finalist will be selected to receive $15,000 to expand their business.

“But to me, just to be able to have the ability to be a finalist in this, the networking and learning of the business model with our local businesses and our state and county governments is worth more than a prize,” said Erik Hubbard, Director of Backroads of Appalachia and Invest 606 Finalist

Marietta added that this cohort stands out since two-thirds of this year’s finalists started their businesses during the pandemic.

“If that gives you any idea about the optimism that I feel about Eastern Kentucky, it should make everyone feel good,” he said.

The Invest 606 Pitch Contest will take place April 23. The 3rd place pitch competition winner will receive $4,000, 2nd place will receive $8,000, and 1st place will take home $15,000.

You can find out more about this year’s finalists on the Invest 606 Facebook page.

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