Thursday, June 6, 2019

The Winners of the Second Round of the 2019 nglccNY Biz Pitch Are…

From business coaching to underwear, we heard from four LGBTBEs at our second round of the 2019 nglccNY Biz Pitch sponsored by EY held on June 4, 2019. As was done at our first round in January, two of those four suppliers were selected to advance to the final round which will be held on December 11, 2019. The final round will culminate in three different prizes to the top three pitches. The grand prize is a full scholarship to attend the “Building a High-Performing Business” program at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business


Ben Brooks, CEO of PILOT Coaching (Photo by Cyrus Golestan Photography)

“If not for Theresa Harrison and the great team at EY, I would not know how life-changing Tuck’s Building a High-Performing Minority Business Program is. I hope that every NGLCC certified business can find a way there. Dartmouth’s top-tier MBA professors lead the sessions, and every single one can be applied directly to any growing, entrepreneurial business. Despite having an MBA, I would go again if they would let me -- the lessons, professors and community are invaluable. Thank you EY! ”, says Stefanie Francis of Hootology, the 2018 nglccNY Biz Pitch winner who recently returned from the Tuck program at Dartmouth.

At our second round of pitches, we heard from Ben Brooks, Founder and CEO of PILOT Coaching who educated us on the importance of empowering employees at all levels of their careers. We also listened to Martin Cowart of Financial Heart Space who coaches financial professionals on connecting with their clients in a meaningful way. Additionally, the audience took in pitches from Phillip Sontag of BlueCooper who runs a PR, communications and integrated marketing firm, and Abby Sugar and Elizabeth Leifer of Play Out Apparel, who sell gender-equal clothing. 


Abby Sugar (left) and Elizabeth Leifer (right) presenting Play Out Apparel (Photo by Cyrus Golestan Photography)

After much deliberation, the EY panel of judges announced that the winners of the second nglccNY Biz Pitch of 2019 were Ben Brooks, Founder and CEO of PILOT Coaching and Abby Sugar and Elizabeth Leifer of Play Out Apparel. Congratulations to Ben, Abby and Elizabeth on being selected to pitch again and December, and congratulations to Martin and Phillip for your excellent pitches! 

PILOT Coaching and Play Out Apparel will compete in December against our January winners (Translator LLC and Five North Chocolate) and two winners from the upcoming third round to be held on September 24, 2019. With six suppliers competing for prizes in our final contest in December, we suggest you all block out the entire afternoon and evening of December 11, 2019! It will be a pitch event (followed by the last M3 of 2019) you will not want to miss! 


Left to right top row - Rob Finkelstein (nglccNY), Michael Roche (EY), Ben Brooks (Pilot), Martin Cowart (Financial Heart Space), Phillip Sontag (BleuCooper), Rosemary Weppler (EY), Shakeria Collie-Charlton (EY)
Left to right bottom row- Reiko Gallo (nglccNY), Abby Sugar (Play Out Apparel), Elizabeth Leifer (Play Out Apparel), Chris Crespo (EY), Florence Werner (EY) (Photo by Cyrus Golestan Photography)

As a reminder, our third Biz Pitch is set for September 24, 2019. (Invitations to apply will be sent in August.) To better understand the benefits of participating in the nglccNY Biz Pitch (in addition to competing for prizes), we encourage you to read our article from November 2018, EY’s Biz Pitch Competition Helps LGBT-Owned Companies Up Their Game, or feel free to send me an email at rob@nglccny.org.


Written by Robert F. Finkelstein, Esq., nglccNY Supplier Diversity Chair. Rob is a partner at Finkelstein Platt LLP, where he practices commercial litigation, construction law, general business law, and employment law. 


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