Downtown

A business pitch competition to help entrepreneurs grow so our local downtown community can thrive.

Renton Downtown Partnership is partnering with OneEastside, the Port of Seattle, City of Renton, and Renton Chamber of Commerce to offer entrepreneurs and existing businesses an opportunity to share their business ideas and win the resources they need to open a brick-and-mortar business in downtown Renton.

Participating in the Entrepreneur Workshop & Pitch Competition is FREE.

The competition includes four in-person workshops leading up to a live pitch event at the Renton Civic Theatre. You will learn the nuts and bolts of launching a small business which includes choosing a business structure, government regulations and insuring your business, how to create a summary business plan, small business financing and accounting, marketing, branding, perfecting your pitch, and more. Business owners can compete in one of three business stage categories, depending on their annual revenue and how long they have been in business.

A group of people gathered in front of Macadon's shop entrance, with the owner cutting a red ribbon with oversized scissors.
Macadons Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting Ceremony in Downtown Renton on September 2, 2022

The three business stage categories that contestants will compete in are:

  • Startup/Idea: Businesses that do not have any sales or revenues yet. Contestants in this category must attend 3 out of 4 workshops to be eligible to win an award at the live pitch: Competition Kickoff, Marketing ++ and either Business Plan Basics or Financial Planning.
  • Early: Any business with less than $75,000 of gross sales last year or less than two years in business. Contestants in this category must attend the following 2 workshops to be eligible to win an award at the live pitch: Competition Kickoff and Marketing++. Attendance at other workshops is discretionary.
  • Established: Any business with more than $75,000 in gross sales last year or in business for more than two years. Contestants in this category must attend the following 2 workshops in person to be eligible to win an award at the live pitch: Competition Kickoff and Marketing ++. Attendance at other workshops is discretionary.

Businesses that can qualify as both early stage and established business can only compete in one category.

Cash Prizes:

  • Three (3) $5,000 Cash Prizes – The winner of each competition category receives $5,000!

  • Up to three (3) $5,000 Incentives – Any finalist that takes the next step and signs a lease for a storefront in Downtown Renton by October 15, 2023 will be awarded an additional $5,000!

Benefits and Incentives

Get what you need to succeed!
Build the knowledge and confidence you need to start or grow your business. This challenge offers an ideal setting for hands-on application of practical business tools and the ability to clearly communicate the value of your product or service and the benefits your business offers.

The three finalists will receive a variety of cash and/or in-kind prizes which may include discounted office/storefront space, website design and development, marketing plan, legal services, printing services, graphic design services, and more.

Eligibility

Do you have what it takes?
• This competition is open to anyone that is at least 18 years old (or will be by April 18, 2023) and has a desire to open a brick-and-mortar store in Downtown Renton.
• A Washington business license is not required to participate in the workshops. If you don't have one, RDP will help you apply for one before the end of the competition. In addition, if you complete 3 out of 4 workshops and participate in the live pitch finale, RDP will pay for your City of Renton and Washington Business Licenses.
• To be eligible to win, every contestant needs to attend the required number of workshops specified for each category and give a pitch at the live finale on April 18, 2023.

How to Participate

Registration is open now!
Interested participants complete an online registration form, which includes providing contact information and short answers to four questions about your business.

Registration closes at 5pm PST on February 20, 2023.
Register

Competition Schedule

All workshops, pitch preparation drop-in session, and live pitch finale will be held in person from 6-8 pm PST at a location in downtown Renton

First workshop starts on February 21, 2023

2/21/2023:  Competition Kickoff! Business Basics
3/7/2023:    Business Plan Simplified
3/21/2023:  Small Biz Finances
4/4/2023:    Marketing++
4/11/2023:  Pitch Preparation Drop-in Session
4/18/2023:  Live Pitch Finale at the Renton Civic Theatre

Rules and Regulations

The Competition is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations and is void in any jurisdiction where it is prohibited by law or regulation. Competition and Official Rules Subject to Modification by Renton Downtown Partnership (RDP).
Official Competition Rules

Contributor
Opportunities

We need your help as a community supporter!
In-Kind Contributions are appreciated, and will support this program by offsetting the costs of specific needs.

Please fill out our In-Kind Contribution form and return it to vp@rentondowntown.com
Contribution Form

Thank you to our sponsors!

Interested in supporting this program as a sponsor?
Please contact us at director@rentondowntown.com for information on opportunities.