Welcome to Downtown!

Entrepreneur Pitch Competition 2023

April 18, 2023 6 PM at the Renton Civic Theatre


The Live Pitch will be judged by a panel of three judges in a competition for the grand prize awards. All contestants will be required to give their pitch in-person.


Judging Criteria for Live Pitch: Winners of the competition will be announced following the live pitch event. There will be one winner in each business category: Startup/Idea, Early, and Established. 

Graphic with Main Street Entrepreneur Workshop & Pitch Competition

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

The first networking session and business basics workshop were welcomed with an overwhelming response.  The two businesses highlighted during the networking session were a hit.  Kenneth Rogers at Rain City Catering provided delightful chicken and waffles on a stick and mac and cheese cups. Christain Jones from Pull Photo provided tips on taking selfies and we all had fun trying to repeat what he was showing us. 

Our guest speakers included Mayor Armondo Pavone, Christian Switzer from Renton Downtown Partnership, and Diane Dobson from Renton Chamber of Commerce.  Sue Bollinger, Vice President of Renton Downtown Partnership and Chair of the Pitch Competition, and Shawn Palmer from OneEastside moderated the event.  We had a total of 67 entrepreneurs and 10 mentors join us for the kickoff. 

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 or expands an existing 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.


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, complete and return written assignments for each workshop by the specified deadline whether or not you are required to attend that workshop, and give a pitch at the live finale on April 18, 2023.

How to Participate

Registration is closed!
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.

Competition Schedule

Next workshop on 3/7/2023 is at capacity. We welcome drop-ins but there is standing room only. Networking 5:30-6 pm. Workshop starts at 6 pm. All networking sessions and workshops will be held in person at the Renton Public Library located at 100 Mill Ave S, Renton 98057.

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

Workshop Details

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


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 [email protected]
Contribution Form

Thank you to our sponsors!

Interested in supporting this program as a sponsor?
Please contact us at [email protected] for information on opportunities.