Last month the Center for Faith & Work hosted the first Start-Up Pitch Night, a part of CFW’s efforts to encourage and support entrepreneurs who have a bold vision to start a new for-profit, or not-for-profit ventures that foster shalom and bring about gospel-centered renewal to New York City and beyond.
By unleashing the church’s untapped potential to start new city-serving, gospel-manifesting ventures we hope to plant seeds to address unmet needs as well as help expand existing initiatives in the areas of industry renewal, human flourishing, and community development.
Judges awarded $5,000 prizes to the non-profit pitches by Service to School and The Golden Spoon and for-profit awards to Forward Comix and Uplitalk. An audience of over 120 voted for their favorite pitches in each category, awarding an additional $2,500 People’s Choice Award to Service to School and Forward Comix.
Not for Profit Winners:
Chad Burgess, Service to School
Service to School helps every transitioning military veteran win admission to the very best undergraduate or graduate institution possible. Service is provided at no cost to the service member. Life in the military is challenging, but transitioning after service can be the toughest challenge of all. Schools can benefit greatly from soldiers’ military experience. Service to School helps veterans continue their success as they pursue higher education.
Kevin Katch, Golden Spoon
Golden Spoon is a venture aimed at improving the nutritional quality of food served to New Yorkers in need by connecting soup kitchens to local restaurants. Research demonstrates that soup kitchens are severely overburdened and forced to provide meals with extremely limited resources. Creating partnerships connecting restaurants with local soup kitchens will help to improve the nutritional quality of served food. By having a restaurant donate nutritious food to a local soup kitchen, it provides a neighborhood-based solution that connects the passion of New York City restaurateurs to make good quality food with those in their community that need it the most. It is an expression of Christ’s love, mercy, joy and abundance. It says “come to the banquet, for everything is now ready.”-
For Profit Winners:
Jerome Welford, Forward Comix
Forward Comix is an award winning indie publisher, based in Brooklyn, founded in 2012. The socially conscious brand currently publishes select works in the form of graphic novels and literary fiction. With a strong commitment to excellence, Forward Comix follows their passion to see more diversity, better understanding and care for the world in which we all live.
Iyob Gebremariam, UpliTalk
Most college students start their job search by attending campus recruiting events. UpliTalk’s goal is to bring these events online. UpliTalk is a website where companies offer online info sessions and tech talks to students and recent college graduates. Students and alumni sign up with their school emails and rsvp to upcoming UpliTalks held by firms of their interest.
UpliTalk offers a full multimedia platform where company representatives can broadcast talks and info sessions from their conference rooms at their headquarters. Students tune in and participate from their dorm rooms. At the end of a session students have the option to upload their resume to the events’ virtual resume drop. The aim of UpliTalk is to provide students and recent college graduates a venue to explore a variety of career options. At the same time it hopes to give startups, non-profits and distant and international companies a chance to make their presence felt in campus recruiting where large corporations often dominate. -
Judges for the evening were Sean Coughlin (Cofounder and CEO of Faith Street), Ryan Darnell (Basset Investment Group), Scott Kauffmann (Redeemer City to City), Jason Locy (Founder, Principal and Creative Director of FiveStone), and Lou Anne Flanders-Stec (Administrative Director, Student Center for Entrepreneurship).