Second Annual Jacobs Center Business Accelerator Pitch Competition Winners Announced

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UB Start Up Pitch Competition Winners

In partnership with Union Bank. CONNECT ALL @ the Jacobs Center and the City of San Diego, three entrepreneurs recognized

Voice & Viewpoint Newswire

On-demand chefs, pre nursing test prep, and strategic client gifting concepts took the top prizes in CONNECT ALL @ the Jacobs Center’s Union Bank Start-Up Pitch Competition. The virtual pitch competition is the culmination of seven months of training and mentorship for the second cohort in the program. CONNECT ALL @ the Jacobs Center is the region’s only business accelerator focused on serving low-to-moderate income and diverse founders.

The program, based in Southeastern San Diego, nurtures early-stage, growth-driven start-ups. Twelve companies from the second cohort have successfully completed the program: A-K Construction & Commercial Cleaning, Alpha Fiber, Blue Surf I.T., Cook Casa, Docfully, Enodoc, Gifting Made, Good Time Cocktail Co., Losa’s & Terry’s Trucking, Tropical Vegan Café, Parabola Coffee and Prenursing Smarter.

The lucky winners will be awarded business grants of $7,500, $5,000 and $2,500 respectively from Union Bank.

First place winner, Cook Casa, is a start-up that provides on-demand chefs for the home, office or any location to create a customized dining experience. According to Cook Casa founder Anayo Nworjih, the food and restaurant industry is evolving to a peer-to-peer-based market that focuses on unique experiences not found in the traditional brick and mortar setup. Cook Casa, which also won the “Audience Choice Award” based on public vote, will receive a $7,500 cash prize to help support its continued success.

Cook Casa founder Anayo Nworjih

Cook Casa was also awarded “Audience Choice” after earning the most votes (likes on YouTube) from the public.

“We were really impressed by Cook Casa’s business model, the plan for responsible growth, and plans to keep local chefs employed. Anayo has identified a gap in the market and a need for on-demand chefs and responded by creating something perfectly suited to address the need,” said Gil Kennedy Union Bank vice president and a judge on the panel.

The second-place award went to Prenursing Smarter, a company that provides online test preparation to students applying for nursing school in the U.S. The company will receive a $5,000 cash prize.

Kate, Founder of Prenursing Smarter

Gifting Made, which specializes in powerful relationship-building strategies with high impact gifts to strengthen client loyalty, build trust and increase quality business referrals, came in third place and will receive a $2,500 prize.

In total, 11 companies competed in the virtual pitch competition. Each company had an opportunity to present its ideas via a five-minute, self-produced video pitch, and a panel of five judges viewed and voted based on a pre-established set of criteria.

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