The 2017 Fast Pitch Tampa Bay was a culmination of 13 Tampa Bay non-profits who participated in a two month business accelerator program through Social Venture Partners Tampa Bay, at the conclusion of the accelerator program each team competed for $60,000 in unrestricted cash prizes.
1st Place $25,000
2nd Place $15,000
3rd Place $10,000
Audience Award $5,000
Accelerator Participation Award $5,000
Each team had 3 minutes to “pitch” their organization, followed up by a Q&A session from a judging panel consisting of Phillip E. Casey, Tom Wallace, Joe Hamilton, Rochelle Friedman-Walk and James Tully. With over 400 guests in attendance for the inaugural event, the excitement was high throughout the evening! The 13 local nonprofits were chosen from a pool of more than 50 applicants.
ECHO of Brandon, a charity whose mission is to end hunger in southeastern Hillsborough County,coached by George and Joan Lange took the $25,000 grand prize. The $15,000 second place prize was awarded to Wheels of Success, represented by Susan Jacobs and coached by Anne Marie Campbell and Sam Giunta, and the $10,000 third place awarded was given to Girls Empowered Mentally for Success, represented by Crystal Bailes and coached by Sheryl Hunter. Another $5,000 prize was given to Accelerator Award winner Tampa Bay Healthcare Collaborative, represented by Marissa Davis and Carrie Hepburn.
Other nonprofits who participated included:
University Area Community Development Corporation, which administers a Prodigy Cultural Arts Program to help at risk first through twelfth graders;
Directions for Living, which is dedicated to providing life-saving services to residents through its innovative Peanut Butter and Jelly run;
Bright Community Trust, whose mission is to create strong and vibrant neighborhoods;
Enactus at University of South Florida, an organization that helps students develop their talents and make a difference in the Tampa Bay community;
Just Learn, k-12 learning program that seeks to expose students to the planet’s biggest challenges like urbanization and food production;
Keep St. Pete Lit, an organization promoting the greater St. Petersburg literary community;
Inspiration Labs, the legal name for Tampa Hackerspace, where members have working space, training and tools to develop their creative projects; and
The Well, which runs the WellBuilt retail store that sells and repairs bicycles to fund community rides, safety workshops and sliding scale repairs.
Tampa Bay Healthcare Collaborative The Collaborative works to promote and advance the health and wellness of vulnerable populations through community collaborations.
Starting, Right Now Starting Right, Now (SRN) engages a comprehensive, continuum-of-care approach to end the generational cycle of homelessness and poverty in unaccompanied youth attending high school in Hillsborough and Pinellas County.