Pitch Please 2023 Recap

Saraiya Mills

Pitch Please is our largest annual event where five fantastic Founded community members pitch their businesses for a panel of venture capitalists and receive live feedback. This year’s Pitch Please was jam-packed with incredible founders who have visions to improve how we navigate work and our personal lives. Armed with an eager and watchful audience and their pitch decks, our founders and their passionate pitches cultivated an incredible environment.

The night began with Jerush Christopher, an NC State graduate, Millers Fellow, and Co-Founder of Shipp! Jerush was a fantastic start to our evening - effortlessly funny, understanding, and relatable. Jersush’s company, Shipp, is a dating app that centers real-life meetups where matches are made when potential partners are within walking distance of each other. If both parties agree to meet, they will be guided toward the nearest public space where they have their first real-life conversation. You can join Shipp’s waitlist here! 

Next up to pitch was Zach Howard, Founder of SKLLD. Zach’s passion for improving both the future of the workforce and the professional outcomes of the previously incarcerated was clear from the second he began. SKLLD’s mission does just that while bridging the skills and communication gaps between companies and job-seekers. 

By connecting job-seekers with leading training providers and transitioning participants to life-changing careers in high-demand industries, SKLLD’s advocacy and services power the success of both their clients and their candidates. 

We believe in SKLLD’s mission and see its potential to grow, bridge the gap between institutions, and continue to change the world for the better. Our hope for Zach and SKLLD is that it receives government contracts and scales. This is why we have sponsored SKLLD for a 1-year membership with our partner, The Amalgamation. This robust and diverse collective aims to make government contracting easier and more accessible for small business owners. We can’t wait to see the growth that SKLLD will attain during their time with The Amalgamation, and we are honored to be supporting Zach in his journey! You can learn more about SKLLD here.

Following SKLLD was Erika Dietrick, Founder of Last Rocket Home. Erika’s pitch was instantly captivating - she quickly drew laughter from the crowd while simultaneously showing her incredible wealth of knowledge and experience in team management. 

Erika is a natural leader and problem solver, passionate about building and providing the tools to manage and engage remote teams effectively. Her pitch was entertaining and thoughtful, and we can’t wait to see how Last Rocket Home grows. You can learn more about Last Rocket Home here.

Next up was Chip Kennedy, Founder of Civic Reach, and the audience voted winner of the evening! 

Chip made a compelling case that tech can save democracy, which is especially important at a time when it is viewed as a potentially harmful actor to the democratic process. Chip made it a point to empathize with everyday experiences regarding government institutions. He affirmed common issues, showed us the data to corroborate it, and then provided us with the perfect solution: an affordable, accessible, and AI-powered product tailored to help its user navigate their government. 

Civic Reach’s work will no doubt make a difference in how we interact with our institutions, and we’re excited to follow Chip along on his journey!

Last up was Charlotte Louis, Founder of SenterMe, who instantly drew the crowd in with her earnest honesty about self-care as a female professional. 

From the moment she began to pitch, Charlotte’s care for those around her was evident. In a light-hearted but vulnerable moment, Charlotte asked the women professionals in the room to raise their hands if they had ever dealt with a decline in their mental and physical health. Hands rose across the audience, and Charlotte launched into her pitch, a brand that encourages its members' emotional and physical well-being.

SenterME is an online wellness center committed to helping women professionals cultivate a sense of authenticity, self-compassion, and growth. One day, Charlotte wishes for SenterME to have a physical location where women will have the space to focus on their whole selves rather than solely the professional. We are excited to support Charlotte in this dream by sponsoring her 1-year membership with the Amalgamation. We look forward to watching her grow and supporting her endeavors. You can learn more about SenterME here.

Pitch Please is easily one of our favorite events of the year, and we hope you can now see why. When you gather a group of truly dedicated professionals and an incredibly supportive audience, it’s difficult not to feel like you’re spending your evening in the best way possible. We’re proud of our community members and their pitches, and we can’t wait to support them as they evolve.