top of page

2023 National Virtual Pitch Contest 

10 Entrepreneurs Compete to Win Cash & Prizes

2023 Finalists.jpg

APRIL 19, 2022 at 5pm Eastern on Zoom!

Contestants from across the U.S. will pitch their business ideas in three minutes for a chance to win their share of over $10,000 in cash and prizes. The top 10 contestants receive complimentary pitch coaching prior to the contest. This pitch contest was created because at NEA we believe it takes more than just funding to succeed in business. This event provides entrepreneurs with essential tools to take their businesses to the next level. With national exposure, coaching, funding, new computers and a community of supporters, the sky is the limit. 

Prize Packages

First place winner will receive a $3000 cash prize, a free Dell computer and a one year membership to the National  Entrepreneurs Association! (judges choice)

​Second place winner will receive a $2000 cash prize, a free Dell computer and a one year membership to the National  Entrepreneurs Association! (judges choice)

Third place winner will receive a $1000 cash prize, and a one year membership to the National Entrepreneurs Association. (audience choice) 


Pitch Judges

joy patterson hs.jpg

Joy Patterson

Dell Technologies

Dan Roman.jfif

Dan Roman

Comerica Bank

Efren Avalos_edited.jpg

Efren Avalos

Comerica Bank


Dr. Jan Cardwell

National Entrepreneurs Association


Chasity Prittchett

Emblem Olive Oil

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Jonas Gadson.jpg

Dr. Jonas Gadson, DTM: International Motivational Speaker

Dr. Jonas Gadson, DTM known as “Mr. Enthusiastic!” is an Expert Communication Coach, Corporate Trainer, International Motivational Speaker, Six Time Amazon Best Selling Author and Radio/TV Personality. Tap In Magazine named him a Top Influential Leader for 2022! He is president of Partners For Purposeful Living LLC, specializing in “Speaking, Training and Developing Greatness!” He coaches business owners, executives, and professionals in effective communication. Dr. Gadson brings 30 years of corporate knowledge, skills, expertise and experience from Xerox Corporation and Eastman Kodak Company. At Eastman Kodak he trained 8,000 employees from 69 countries and earned the “Trainer of the Year Award!” His Motto Is: “Since Greatness Is Possible Excellence Is Not Enough! Go For Greatness!”  Learn more at

Meet Our Top 10 Finalists


Alexis Howard, Founder of Etta Grove, Washington DC

Alexis Howard is the Founder of Etta Grove, a revolutionary startup offering stylish, feel-good footwear for women of varied shoe sizes (sizes 7m to 14m). She founded Etta Grove with her two daughters (Kayla and Haley) and the brand is the namesake of her grandmother, Etta, who was also an entrepreneur. Alexis is passionate about creating a brand that empowers women of various shoes sizes to express themselves through their footwear and feel great while doing it. Prior to launching Etta Grove, Alexis has spent time working as a Civil Rights Attorney within the Federal Government. She is a graduate of Howard University School of Business (1994) and School of Law (1998), and a member of the Female Founder Collective's 10th House, 202Creates, and Fifteen Percent Pledge communities. Learn more at

Dahlia Rizk, Founder of Buckle Me Baby Coats, Boston Massachusetts

I'm Dahlia Rizk - the car seat coat lady. I invented Buckle Me Baby Coats - kids winter coats that go on at home and stay on safely in the car seat because parents shouldn't have to choose between their child's safety and warmth and their own sanity. Both the NHTSA and American Academy of Pediatrics recommend parents take traditional kids winter coats off in car seats as the puffiness of the coat compresses under the harness creating brain, neck, and spine injuries. Buckle Me Baby Coats are kids winter coats designed for the car seat. Buckle Me Baby Coats go on at home and stay on safely in the car seat. In 5 short years this one mom startup went from selling coats in the kitchen to 4 million dollars in lifetime sales worldwide and has been featured on Shark Tank, Good Morning American, Today Morning News and CBS. Learn more at

DR headshot.png

Cathryn Coleman, Founder of Bouncing Around the Motor City, Detroit Michigan

Bouncing Around The Motor City is Detroit's premiere party and event rental company offering it all from large inflatables, large scale balloon decor down to customized party favors or our extraordinary balloon bouquets. We are rightfully branded as Detroit's #1 One Stop Shop with our products and services including inflatables, linen, face painting, tables, chairs, throne chairs, event planning and much much more. Our target customers are moms, aunts, dads, grandpas, co-workers, friends or anyone looking to gift remarkably or make their guests wow at the decor of their events. Our target customers also include organizations, churches, grand openings. We are the choice for balloons, customization and party rentals - Bringing Joy to Detroit one Balloon at a time. Learn more at


Erin Schnute, Founder of Bed and BARKfest, Farmington Michigan

Erin Schnute is the owner and founder of Metro Detroit's Bed and BARKfest, a boutique residential dog boarding business that stands out against cold and caged commercial options. Bed and BARKfest was profitable in year one; due to a low overhead model and a clear need in the market, growth has been significant over the past 4 years. Erin loves connecting with the local community- she also maintains and grows meaningful connections through social media. Erin is passionate about taking great care of beloved family pets and ensuring their humans feel peace of mind when they leave their pups in loving homes. Through community building, cultivating a motivated team of pet sitters, and providing top notch service Erin has grown the Bed and BARKfest’s client list over 500% in the past two years and they have seen profit grow over 700%. Learn more at


Carl Colvin, Founder of AutoTread, Birmingham Alabama

Carl Colvin Jr is the Owner/President of AutoTread. Carl has a total of 25 years of tire experience working as a tire technician on passenger and light truck vehicles.  AutoTread started providing mobile tire services 15 years ago. Being the visionary entrepreneur Carl Colvin saw that there was a need for reliable, convenient, dependable, and no long waits great quality tire service. Being that AutoTread is a mobile tire service, we will bring the tire shop to you.  Our services that we offer are new tire sales, mounting, balancing, tire rotation, flat repair, battery jump, wheel change and roadside assistance.  The concept behind the mobile tire truck is for busy working everyday individuals, traveling families, companies with fleets and for people who don’t want to sit all day in a tire shop.  AutoTread has grown from one employee to three employees and from one service truck to three service trucks. Learn more at

Mary Harvin, Founder of UDRINKIMAKE, Detroit, Michigan

My name is Mary Harvin. I am the Proprietor of Udrinkimake (U Drink I Make). Formed in 2016, we are one of the first Mobile Bartending Services nationwide. I have 20+ years of Hospitality experience, which makes skill, professionalism and efficiency top priorities for Udrinkimake. In 2022, I spread my entrepreneurial spirit to a new venture, Ucareimake (U Care I Make). Ucareimake is a flavored self-care cosmetics line. Flavored sugar scrubs & flavored oils leave a hint of flavor on your body. The flavors are designed after beverages & desserts, with the most popular being Strawberry Daiquiri & Lemon Drop. I am constantly working on growing. I have become certified as a National Entrepreneur through the National Entrepreneur’s Association. I received a certification from Cornell University for Women’s Entrepreneurship. I am currently in a program through TechTown; Retail Bootcamp, which prepares me for opening a brick & mortar for Udrinkimake. Learn more at

Mary Harvin.jpg
Madison Barse 1.jpg

Madison Barse, Founder of Full Herizon, Tampa Bay Florida

Full Herizon is an online earring brand that specializes in lightweight statement earrings. Madison’s earrings weigh roughly 40% less than traditional earrings, intending women to forget they are even wearing them. However, it goes beyond just being lightweight; each pair is placed on a unique earring card featuring underrepresented women, from having a double chin to freckles. The brand also hosts a podcast called “Sundays! With Madison Barse,” so customers can listen to stories of inspiring female founders as they wear their new favorite earrings. When Madison launched Full Herizon in August 2020, her first post went viral. She sold out of her first collection in only 5.5 hours. Since then, she has built a community of over 13 thousand women, has sold thousands of earrings, is WBENC certified, and was recognized in 2022 as a Tampa 25 Under 25 Honoree. Learn more at

Ron Nussbaum, Founder of Nuttnest, Emerald Isle North Carolina

Ron Is a Dynamic, results-oriented leader. He is a Conductor of change that never accepts the status quo or an excuse. After serving in the Marine Corps., he went on to add over a decade of experience in the construction industry. Ron has cemented himself as a visionary and a leader in construction. working in many facets from field, sales, leadership, and management. He is the host of Construction Champions Podcast and the Founder/CEO of Nuttnest. Ron uses his knowledge and experiences to help others grow and change the overall mindset around construction. Pushing the industry into the 21st century and removing the old stigmas and limiting beliefs around construction. Learn more at


Dominique Gonzales, Founder of Care Bath & Body, Forth Worth Texas

Dominique "Dom" Gonzales is the Owner of Care Bath & Body Products LLC.  Care Bath & Body exists to provide caretakers of all gender and sex identities with handmade skin care, hair care, and bath products, and practical tools to promote the importance of daily self-care. Dom launched Care in October 2018 and states the company was born out of her need for better self-care and her desire to give the gift of self-care products to others. Currently, all products are sold on her website or at in-person vendor events. Dominique a graduate of the National Entrepreneurs Association Boot Camp & Certification program and Bank Of America's Women's Entrepreneurship Certification program. Dominique is a native of Omaha, Nebraska and lives in Fort Worth, Texas. She is a mom of two, aunt, community advocate, and lover of music and art. Learn more at

Alicia McKay, Founder of No Fear Cafe Learning Center, Detroit Michigan

Born and raised in Detroit, Alicia McKay is a graduate of Rice University and Purdue University Global with a Masters in Education. She has been an educator in many different capacities including tutor, teacher, and math interventionist. With 20+ years of experience in educational leadership, consulting, and development, her mission is to enhance communities through innovative math and science programming. With ingenuity and aspiration, Alicia founded No Fear Cafe, co-learning center which provides fun and engaging STEM-based enrichment experiences, after school, and summer programs promoting career readiness and academic excellence for families, schools, and organizations. The work of No Fear Cafe positively impacts the lives of families and their communities by making a difference in students’ economic and social well-being. For the last 10 years Alicia McKay has developed and led effective programs, workshops, lessons, and curriculum to help students to reach their truest potential. Learn more at


Sponsored by

NEA Logo.jpg
bottom of page