Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream, a micro-lending and coaching program for small business owners working in food, beverage and craft brewing, announced it will host its regional Pitch Room competition and small business Speed Coaching event in Brooklyn, New York on Monday, November 16.
The Brewing the American Dream Pitch Room is a national competition that helps food and beverage business owners perfect the art of the sales pitch, as well as gain exposure to important food and beverage retailers and buyers. More information on the Pitch Room can be found at: http://btad.samueladams.com/about/pitch-room.aspx.
Starting at 5:00 p.m. ET at Berg’n (899 Bergen Street, Brooklyn, NY 11238), entrepreneurs will present their best sales pitch to a panel of expert judges including:
- Jim Koch, Founder and Brewer of Samuel Adams
- David Burke, American Chef and Restaurateur
- Jonathan Butler, Co-Founder of Berg’n, Brooklyn Flea, Smorgasburg
- John Holl, Journalist, Editor of All About Beer Magazine and American Craft Beer Cookbook
- Farrah Shaikh McLaren, Food & Lifestyle Editor
- Matthew Stinchcomb, Executive Director of Etsy.org
After providing critical, impactful advice to each of the participants, the judges will select a winner based on criteria including quality of pitch, creativity, passion, and product viability. The winner will be invited to participate in the finals in December, also in New York City, where they will compete with other regional winners from across the country for a $10,000 business grant, extended mentoring from Samuel Adams, and the potential for their product to be sold at leading retail locations.
“New York City is one of the most difficult cities in which to start and grow a small food and beverage business, which is why our Brewing the American Dream events are so useful,” commented Jim Koch, Brewer and Founder of Samuel Adams. “We have worked with hundreds of small businesses in the area since bringing the program to New York City in 2011, and are really looking forward to continuing to support more passionate local entrepreneurs through nuts-and-bolts coaching, mentoring and advice to help give them a leg up.”
Koch noted that both regional winners from the NYC Pitch Room competitions over the last two years – Brewla Bars and Caputo Brothers Creamery – also went on to win the finals. Additionally, since the 2013 competition, Brewla Bars has entered more than 700 stores with its brewed ice pops and attributes the Brewing the American Dream program as a major catalyst for its recent growth opportunities.
Small Business Speed Coaching in New York City
The Speed Coaching portion of the evening, held from 7:00 pm to 9:30pm (EST), is a free event open to any small business owner in the food, beverage, and craft brewing industries. At the event, which is hosted in partnership with Accion, the nation’s leading nonprofit provider of small business capital and education, attendees will participate in up to six 20-minute, high-impact coaching sessions in areas such as sales and distribution, packaging, and finance with expert coaches from Samuel Adams, local area businesses, and Accion. Entrepreneurs are encouraged to bring questions about specific business challenges they face, as well as samples of packaging, point-of-sale items and other material on which they would like feedback. For more information on Speed Coaching, visit: http://btad.samueladams.com/about/speed-coaching.aspx.
Year-Round Lending to Support Craft Brewing Competition
Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream continues to support New York small businesses year-round, in partnership with Accion, by providing microloans to entrepreneurs who are often shut out of traditional lending institutions. Since 2008, the program has offered solutions to the barriers that many of these viable small businesses face – from lack of credit to requests for small loan amounts to surviving the volatile nature of the food and beverage industry – and provided more than $960,000 to nearly 100 food and beverage entrepreneurs in the New York area.
“Access to capital is one of the major obstacles small business owners continue to face,” said Paul Quintero, CEO of Accion in New York. “These entrepreneurs deserve the opportunity to take their innovative new business ideas to the next level, and through our partnership with Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream, we’re able to help them do just that.”
Brewing the American Dream Inspiration and Impact
Samuel Adams is celebrating 31 years of brewing, and despite the craft brewery’s success, Jim Koch hasn’t forgotten how hard it is to start and run a successful small business. That’s why he created Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream, a unique program that provides the two things he wishes he had when starting Samuel Adams: financing and real-world business advice.
Since 2008, through the support of Brewing the American Dream, Accion has lent more than $6.4 million to nearly 625 businesses. Just as important, the program has coached or mentored over 5,000 businesses and created or saved more than 2,600 jobs. The program also has a repayment rate of 98.1 percent with all payments recycled and repurposed into new loans to help other small businesses. To learn more, visit: http://btad.samueladams.com.