New entrepreneurs pitch their businesses to win training scholarship at Pathway WBC.
Congratulations to the graduating members of our Discover 4 Cohort! Small businesses incubated in this round ranged from cupcake bakery and photographer to a beauty salon and colon hydrotherapy clinic.
To celebrate their success we gathered friends and family for a graduation pitch night competition hosted at women-owned Hip Hues in Nashville’s Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood. To prepare, classmates conducted customer research and worked on a Lean Canvas for their business over the seven week course.
“Picking a winner from these incredible pitches was nearly impossible,” said Discover Facilitator Mia McNeal. “Every presentation has come so far in just 7 weeks. These women mean BUSINESS!”
The Discover pitch competition winner receives a full scholarship for the next level of small business training at Pathway WBC – membership in the Embark Cohort!
The winner of the pitch competition for Discover 4 was Taneka Cola.
Taneka is founder of Eleven Bridal , a bridal salon committed to serving women of all sizes.
Here’s what Taneka had to say about taking her new business through the Discover Cohort curriculum:
How has your idea or business changed since Week 1 at Pathway WBC?
I am much more in-tune with who I am as a business owner and what I want my business to represent. Before going through the Discover Cohort, I had an idea…now I have an identity. And that has made all the difference. My identity has influenced so many aspects of my business from pricing strategies to inventory selection even down to how I will interact with my customers on a day-to-day basis.
What was your biggest “ah-ha!” moment during the cohort?
One of my biggest ‘ah-ha’ moments came while I was doing “homework.” Mia wanted us to do customer discovery interviews with people that we just happened meet at the store or while standing in line. The goal wasn’t to overtly pitch them our idea, but to simply gather information. That assignment was so helpful because not only did it confirm some key assumptions that I already had, but I also discovered some really important things about my target demographic.
What is your biggest takeaway from the cohort?
Completing the Lean Canvas week-by-week and really working through those key elements that are going to be the absolute KEY to the viability of your business. It was an eye-opener. Lean Canvas is the business plan minus the ‘fluff’ and it was just really helpful to sketch out my business in a concise, simplistic yet thorough format.
Anything you’d change about the curriculum?
I can’t think of one thing I’d want to change. Mia was AMAZING! She’s definitely my #GOALS! My classmates were awesome. The classes were always so fun and informative. There was a great balance of lecture and activity. It was just great.
What would you tell other entrepreneurs about Pathway WBC?
DO IT! Take the cohort. The Discover cohort is that one thing that you didn’t know you needed!
Congratulations to Taneka, and to all of our Discover 4 graduates on all your hard work! Click here to see photos on our Facebook page from Discover 4’s pitch night and graduation at Hip Hues.