Entrepreneurs face off in Downtown Dayton Retail Lab Pitch Contest

Mike Colvin DDP Press Releases

The third cohort of the Downtown Dayton Retail Lab share their stories to compete for a cash prize.


March 24, 2022 (DAYTON, Ohio) – Members of the third cohort of the Downtown Dayton Partnership’s (DDP) Retail Lab will take part in a pitch competition later this month. The public speaking event is a culmination of the 12-week Retail Lab business accelerator program, which is designed to help strengthen downtown Dayton’s first-floor business pipeline.


Eight local businesses will take part in the contest happening at the White House Event Center, 101 E. Second St., starting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 30. The entrepreneurs behind Scattered Ltd., Me’Yanna Berry Co., Vegan Meltz, Divine Catering & Events LLC, Just Like Me Presents, Charmed by Riss LLC, Yetunde Rodriguez Design, and Undaunted Things will present pitches to compete for a $1,000 cash prize. The second-place winner will receive $500. The pitch contest is open to the public and free to attend. The Retail Lab pitch contest is supported in part through the Entrepreneurs’ Center and Fifth Third Bank.


“This contest serves a few different purposes in a really fun way,” said Val Beerbower, DDP’s director of first-floor development and business marketing and coordinator of the Retail Lab program. “Local entrepreneurs practice giving a business pitch, a critical skill to master when you’re seeking financing or working to obtain a bricks-and-mortar storefront, and the public gets to know more about the small businesses in our community.”


The Retail Lab is a 12-week intensive program for business owners aiming to launch or grow their first-floor business concept in downtown Dayton. Weekly workshops and one-on-one sessions connect local businesses to people, ideas, and resources to help them continue to grow after the program’s conclusion. Business owners take part in facilitated instruction and mentor-driven work sessions throughout the Retail Lab, with the program culminating in the pitch competition. Eligible businesses will be able to apply for the fall 2022 cohort later this summer.


“Downtown Dayton is brimming with diverse businesses that just continue to grow,” said Sandra K. Gudorf, president of the DDP. “These businesses create the amenities, culture, and experiences that make downtown so vibrant. Connecting our first-floor business owners with a support network and tools for continued success ensures our local economy and community can thrive.”


The Retail Lab leverages support from many business resource partners including The Entrepreneurs’ Center, the Miami Valley Small Business Development Center, Five Rivers MetroParks – 2nd Street Market, Launch Dayton and The Hub Powered by PNC at the Dayton Arcade.


Questions about the Retail Lab should be directed to Val Beerbower, beerbower@downtowndayton.org, or call (937) 224-1518 ext. 226.

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