We’re thrilled to hear this interview with West Business Development Center CEO Mary Anne Petrillo and KZYX Radio about Startup Mendocino.

“Startup Mendocino Contestants Prepare for Final Round†By Sarah Reith

August 13, 2019 — Five local businesses are heading for a showdown, as they approach the final round of a competition for $20,000 in prizes to take their businesses to the next level. Startup Mendocino is a program launched by West Business Development Center, using a grant from the governor’s office of economic development to train small-scale entrepreneurs on how to pitch their ventures. Local business leaders selected the contestants, helped with the training, judged the first round of the competition, and provided the prize money. The next round will be on August 25th at Mendocino College, and the audience will pick the final winners. 

West CEO Mary Anne Petrillo said that in May, 82 applicants vied for 12 spots in the competition, which started with a business boot camp. Contestants learned how to formulate their ideas and financial plans for their businesses, and how to communicate these ideas to potential supporters. Local trainers as well as those from the Small Business Administration (SBA) participated in that portion of the program.

The final event will start off with refreshments from local vendors and music by the Fort Bragg-based band Mama Grows Funk. Then the finalists will make their five-minute pitch and answer follow-up questions from a panel of judges from the SBA. Audience members as well as the judges will vote on the winners, who will walk away with prize money and a few new skills.

Petrillo also expects the small business advocate from the governor’s office to attend the final event of this inaugural program, which she hopes will become a regular feature of the county’s entrepreneurial landscape. 

Listen to the full KZYX interview with Mary Anne Petrillo HERE or below to hear more about Startup Mendocino Final Round and its Five Finalists.



Tickets for the Startup Mendocino Competition Gala Are Now on Sale

This family-friendly event takes place in Ukiah at the Mendocino College theater on August 25th. Tickets are $10 and include beer, wine, refreshments, local food and prizes — and most importantly, a chance to cast your vote to determine who will win the grand prize for Startup Mendocino. Click here to buy tickets now.

Startup Mendocino is a Business Bootcamp and Pitch Competition designed to spark new thinking about what is possible in Mendocino County through entrepreneurship. Startup Mendocino is sponsored by the West Business Development Center, America’s SBDC, The John and Sandra Mayfield Economic Development Fund at the Community Foundation of Mendocino County, Adventist Hospital, Savings Bank of Mendocino County, Economic Development and Financing Corporation, Mendocino College, North Coast Brewery, Harvest Market, The John Pack and Linda Francis Family Fund at the Community Foundation of Mendocino County, Ukiah Chambers of Commerce, Mendocino Coast Chambers of Commerce, Willits Chambers of Commerce, The Coast – KOZT, and the California Association for Micro Enterprise Opportunity.

Startup Mendocino is supported by the Small Business Administration and California Governor Gavin Newsom’s Office of Business & Economic Development.

As always, to sign up for free business advising from WestBDC go here

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