News Release HAMILTON, Bermuda – On Thursday, November 16th, the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) successfully kicked off the 2023 Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) with the Rocket Pitch Competition.
Finalists of the 16th annual Rocket Pitch Competition pitched their businesses before panels of judges for a chance at winning a share of $42k in cash and services. The Competition, which this year was sponsored by the BEDC, One Communications, the Economic Development Department, the Bermuda Tourism Authority, Arch Reinsurance, and Bacardi Limited, has helped to launch or expand over 80 businesses.
Twelve budding entrepreneurs pitched their ideas at the Pier Six Complex on Front Street. Attendees and judges were presented with business ideas ranging from face painting and body art to a digital hub focused on special needs. Hopeful entrepreneurs pitched in six categories, including Pitch Pink –tourism-focused solutions; Pitch Tech – technology-focused; Pitch Town – businesses with the local community in mind; Pitch Green – an eco-friendly solution; Youth Pitch – for students under the age of 18 and Pitch Food & Bev – the Bacardi sponsored category that focused on business ideas that contribute to the Food & Beverage industry.
First-place and second-place winners were chosen for each category, with each finalist walking away with a cash prize – 1st Place: $5,000 & 2nd Place: $2,000 – and a startup services package sponsored by local businesses.
This year’s services package included Business coaching by Transform Bermuda and access to a wide variety of membership tiers from LeadxDesign’s digital suite.
The winners of the 2023 Rocket Pitch by category included:
Youth Pitch: Sponsored by Arch Reinsurance
1st Place winner: Paintz – a face-painting and body art business with curated face designs for all ages, events and themes by Zea Swainson
2nd Place winner: Forevergreen– a lawn mowing company providing affordable, high-quality lawn care by Shammai Smith, Jahmai Davis & Kaiden Chew
Pitch Tech: Sponsored by the Economic Development Department 1st Place winner: Kustom Kitz 3D– a business focused on utilizing 3D printing and lithium batteries to create pocket generators to keep Wi-Fi and electronics powered by John Payne
2nd Place winner: Here for You – a comprehensive on-demand digital solution for all things special needs in Bermuda by Thea Furbert
Pitch Pink: Sponsored by the Bermuda Tourism Authority1st Place winner: PR Bermuda – a service-based business providing romantic experiences on the picturesque island of Bermuda by Tomika Smith
2nd Place winner: Sea Breeze Wellness Retreats –a business focused on wellness tourism by incorporating wellness, cuisine, culture, movement, mindfulness, and relaxation by Dallanika Hayward
Pitch Green 1st Place winner: Summer by Keile – a clothing brand that focuses on sustainability, ethical printing, and inclusivity by Keile Rabain
2nd Place winner: Auto Magic –a car washing business focused on utilizing eco-friendly and sustainable practices as well as offering scents for cars by Carlita Trott
Pitch Town 1st Place winner: Cocoon Work –a company that offers self-guided therapeutic tools, 1-1 therapy, and a unique variety of group therapeutic experiences by Camille Creary
2nd Place winner: Lookie Lookie –a business that focuses on being the ultimate small business hub Connecting you to Bermuda’s small business community by Kimwana Eve
Pitch Food & Beverage: Sponsored by Bacardi Limited 1st Place winner: Prep’d– a quality meal preparation business focused on being fresh, healthy, local, and easy by Jennifer Woods
2nd Place winner: Brixx Bunz – is a homemade cinnamon rolls business focused on being handcrafted with a commitment to explosive flavor by Brittany Cox
People’s Choice Award: Sponsored by One Communications & 24/7 Ink
The People’s Choice award was chosen via a live poll where 364 people voted, including viewers in attendance and those watching the live stream. This award was sponsored in part by One Communications and 24/7 Ink, with the winner taking home one year of 1 Gigabit of internet and a $200 certificate to services by 24/7 Ink.
Zea Swainson of Paintz was the crowd favorite, receiving 31% of the vote and winning the coveted prize.
About BEDC Bermuda Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) is Bermuda’s premier source of free confidential business advice for entrepreneurs. The mission is to serve Bermuda’s local business community with the highest degree of professionalism by providing, authoritative business advice; counsel and loan guarantee support. Bermuda Business Starts Here! For more information, visit www.bedc.bm.
About GEW: During one week in November, the world spotlights how young people’s ideas can contribute to global economic development. GEW Global, which started in 2008 has grown to include Host Committees in over 180 countries. With the help of governments and non-government organizations, Host Countries coordinate events ranging from invention competitions to local entrepreneurship summits designed to stimulate creative solutions, jumpstart innovation and celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit, especially among young people. Formed in 2008, the Bermuda Host Committee is made up of the BEDC, Youth Entrepreneurship Initiative of Bermuda (registered charity no. 616) and the Economic Development Department. The Committee acts with the common goal of inspiring the new generation of entrepreneurs and creative thinkers.