For Immediate Release
October 6, 2022
RAIN Awards $10K to Pitch Competition Winners at MONEYmaker Graduation
Sixty-six entrepreneurs recognized for completing the 10-week financial accelerator program
The Regional Accelerator & Innovation Network (RAIN) awarded $10,000 to active and aspiring startups at the virtual MONEYmaker accelerator graduation and pitch competition on October 5th:
- Best Overall Pitch ($3,000): Awarded to Sandhiprakash “Sandhi” Bhide, founder/CEO of Balak Drishti (AKA – Restore Sight) (Beaverton, OR) His startup is an early-intervention concept that provides good-quality, low-cost, and durable prescription glasses to impoverished children from across the globe who need glasses to continue their education. Bhide also won the audience vote for the People’s Choice Award ($1,000).
- Best Business Idea ($1,500): Awarded to Pallavi Pande, founder/CEO of Dtocs Tableware (Portland, OR), a startup that makes sustainable, single-use disposable plates and bowls from naturally fallen palm leaves.
- Best Ask ($1,500): Awarded to Earl Plumplee, owner of Popsies (Oak Harbor, WA). Plumlee made a compelling request for a $250,000 investment to execute several strategies for increasing their market share of the $9.8 billion popcorn industry.
- Finalists ($500): Adriene Fritze (Conundrum House – Corvallis, OR), Dante Hamilton (Internet Webpages Newspaper – Chicago, IL), Vanessa Kempf (Vane’s Salsa – Eugene, OR), Maura Muhl (Wallabar – Hood River, OR), Angela Ridenour (New Mint Media Family Films – Eugene, OR), and Lauren Teague (FanWagn – Canby, OR).
“It is with great humility, humbleness, and gratitude, I want to thank RAIN for giving me 10 weeks of solid knowledge, wisdom, and support. I am thrilled to receive the honor of two awards, but more importantly, the network, relationships, and connections I have built are priceless,” said Bhide.
MONEYmaker is a free 10-week online financial accelerator program for entrepreneurs, startups, and small business owners who want to better understand their finances and feel confident in managing their business’s growth. Funded primarily by a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, MONEYmaker cohorts met weekly to learn from business finance experts, get help from financial mentors, and grow and network with their peers.
“On behalf of the entire RAIN organization, I want to thank and congratulate all of our student entrepreneurs who made the commitment to learning and mastering the fundamentals of their business finances. Anyone can start a business, but to stay in business you need to do the hard and sometimes not-so-fun work of learning how to budget, price your product, raise money, manage cash flow, and keep the books. Armed with these new skills and competencies, I have every confidence that our graduates will not only be able to remain in business for years to come but grow to achieve their highest goals,” said RAIN’s Deputy Director, Robert Killen.
Link to full Press Release: https://www.oregonrain.org/rain-awards-10k-to-pitch-competition-winners-at-moneymaker-graduation/