Every year since 2016, Washtenaw County Community College’s (WCC) Entrepreneurship Center
has hosted Pitch@WCC
, a competition where local entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas for cash prizes. On May 11, over $18,000 in prizes was awarded to this year's finalists in four categories: Nonprofit, Start, Grow, and Build, as well as one Audience Choice winner and three students.
The grand prize of $7,500 in the Build category went to Brian Scott for Broadcast Boot Camp, a social impact business created to expose youth to radio and podcast production in places where resources are limited.
"Kids are caught behind a screen or behind a handheld device and they don't know how to talk and communicate nowadays," Scott says. "A lot of these kids have it in them. They just need something to help them help bring it out of them."
Scott hopes that his company will help with that, and plans to use his background of broadcasting and working with children to partner with community organizations and schools to give students hands-on experiences.
"Currently, I'm writing a school curriculum for Broadcast Boot Camp so school districts and schools in general that don't have any kind of broadcast or communications program have a curriculum for the program," Scott says.
Broadcast Boot Camp is currently based in Ann Arbor, but Scott says he is going to use the money he won to upgrade, update, and purchase new equipment so that he can have multiple sites around the country.
Other 2023 Pitch@WCC winners included Teiara Massey of Diamond Princess
in the Nonprofit category, Brooke Marshall of Seed Straws in the Start category, Max Morefield of the KISS app in the Grow category, Ruth Singleton of Heal4Life as the Audience Choice pick, and students Katherine Keeler, Henry Zhang, and Anton Ford.
Along with varying cash prizes, all finalists receive one year of training, coaching, and mentoring from WCC faculty, Entrepreneurship Center staff, and experts.
Scott encourages anyone with a business idea to explore the services at WCC’s Entrepreneurship Center and get involved with the pitch competition.
"It helps you flesh out your business idea and it helps you figure out where your strengths are, what your weaknesses are, how to get right to the point when it comes to explaining your project to somebody," Scott says. "I think it's very important."
Layla McMurtrie is a recent Eastern Michigan University graduate and former editor-in-chief of The Eastern Echo. She has a passion for arts and culture and hopes to tell the stories of underrepresented Michigan residents.
Photo courtesy of WCC.
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