Monday, December 16, 2019

Second Annual Biz Pitch Finals Competition




On Dec. 11, nglccNY hosted the final round of our second annual Biz Pitch Competition! 

Sponsored by EY, this event capped off a year of competition and allowed the winners of previous rounds to vie for top prizes including a ticket to the the 2020 NGLCC International Business & Leadership Conference in Las Vegas and a full scholarship to attend the Building a High-Performing Businessprogram at Dartmouth Colleges TuckSchool of Business. 

Congratulations to the winners of the final round:

First Place: Five North Chocolate

Second Place: PILOT Coaching

Third Place: Play Out Apparel

The top finishers reacted to the news of their awards, sharing their insights about the honor and the importance of this opportunity:

Ben Conard, Founder & CEO, Five North Chocolate


First Place Winner

On winning first place:

“I am honestly really shocked. To be with so many powerful companies making huge waves in the LGBT business community, I was sure it was going to be someone else, but I'm really stoked that it was me. This competition started in January of this year, so it's humbling for me to reflect back on how much has changed in almost a full year since advancing in the first round."

 On participating in the final round:

“It’s exciting for me to see how much I've grown, but also to see how much my fellow participants have grown. I’m so grateful to be a part of this community. Having something to show for it is just icing on the cake.”

On the importance of the BizPitch:

“The BizPitch gives small companies with big visions the opportunity to share that vision with people who can actually help you make a difference. We have big goals; we have big dreams to make big waves in our own community. And to have an entity like EY helping us do that and believing in us is really powerful.”


Ben Brooks, Founder and CEO, PILOT Coaching

Second Place Winner

On winning second place:

“It's great. I funded my business with my life savings. I think as entrepreneurs, we don’t always get a lot of validation. So this is wonderful encouragement from a community that I respect and value.”

On competing:

“I think it was always a little nerve wracking to put myself out there and our company. But this is the third time I've gotten to participate in an nglccNY event and each time it puts the pressure on me to make our pitch better, to get feedback and to learn in a supportive environment. And we took the feedback. What our pitch looked like in June was very different than what it looks like here in December. And it's a credit to the feedback we got.  We acted on it and that made a big difference.”


Liz Leifer, Co-Owner and Designer, Play Out Apparel

Abby Sugar Co-Owner and Designer, Play Out Apparel

Third Place Winner

Liz on winning third place:

“It feels amazing. I'm so excited and super proud. nglccNY is such an incredible organization. It's helped us really feel supported and we've started to come into our own in the larger business community. Having access to other companies, and other founders. It's really changed the game for us.”

Abby on participating:

“It was just an incredible thing to participate in and really, really wonderful that EY volunteered their time and feedback to help us improve our business and to foster diversity and inclusion.”


Kudos to all of these outstanding entrepreneurs! We cannot wait to continue Biz Pitch in the new year!


Written by Cindi Creager, the Media & Communications Chair of the nglccNY Executive Committee and co-owner of CreagerCole Communications LLC, a New York City-based public relations firm experienced in LGBTQI issues.

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