We Won $25,000 with Ignite Buffalo!

Posted on August 01 2018

 

We Won $25,000 with Ignite Buffalo!

In June 2018, our mentor at both the Women Business Center and the Small Business Development Center thought that Spoke & Dagger Co. would be a great fit for the new grant that was just announced, 43 North’s Ignite Buffalo Grant in partnership with Facebook, Wordpress, M&T Bank, Amazon, WooCommerce and Quickbooks.

The application was extensive and we had one week to apply, it included many questions about community impact and hiring. We were also required to submit a business plan, profit and loss statements, tax returns and a video submission. Jackson Zimmerman came in clutch with our video submission and Joanne and Chris Galley helped us with the application and pitch.

The application deadline had arrived and 43 North announced that about 500 applications were submitted. Just two weeks later, we had gotten an email that we had made the cut to the top 50 applicants. 

One week later, we found ourselves standing in front of 10 judges from all over the world. We had 2 minutes to pitch our company and expansion plan, followed by 5 minutes of Q & A, Shark Tank style. The nerves were present but we did a dry run of our pitch and slideshow for a panel at the Women Business Center to practice, so we felt prepared. One of the most memorable moments of the Q&A was when a female judge commended us for providing a platform to inspire women to get on motorcycles. Another judge noted that two days prior, he was on Hertel Avenue and happened across our Voodoo & Burnt Rubber motorcycle event and art show that we host. He saw the entire block of North Park filled with motorcycles and our store packed with guests. He explained to the one judge who was concerned there wasn't a big enough motorcycle community in Buffalo, that he saw for his own eyes that it is alive and well in our city.

Later that night, the phone call came. We were picked as a recipient of $25,000 and a year long mentorship program. The judges from 43 North, Facebook, M&T Bank, Amazon, Wordpress, WooCommerce and Quickbooks believed in the scalability of our expansion and believed in us as business owners to make it happen. Truly a life changing moment.



Mundy Cake made us these cookies to give to the judges during our pitch!


 

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