A Pitch Competition for our CEO’s Yielded Cash Prizes
Last Wednesday, VSEDC’s fall 2022 cohort of our CEO series held a hybrid virtual and in-person graduation ceremony, culminating in a pitch competition.
The nine-week CEO Series program was designed for startups and businesses operating within their first two years. Led by our Senior Business Coach Jonathan Kinnard, this interactive series prepares business owners and entrepreneurs to operate and scale their business successfully here in Los Angeles. Topics covered in the CEO Series include business models, determining market needs, finding ideal customers, operating skills, marketing and social media strategies, and more.
Our Pitch Competition Winners
Watch a short video spotlighting the three winners of our CEO Series pitch competition.
Our panel of judges for the pitch competition included Adrian Veliz from VSEDC, Keith Rogers from PCR, Delphine Pruitt from US Bank, and past pitch competition winner, Aaron Jones, from the Original Taco Pete’s.
Our third place winner was Chrystal Lapree from Savage Fashionista Styling, winning a cash prize of $350.
In second place was Lechristopher Williams, of MedWorld Transport, winning a cash prize of $500.
Finally, our grand prize winner, Candace Walker of Generation Connect, won a cash prize of $1,000. in her acceptance speech, Walker said, “I’ve heard of VSEDC, but who knew all of the resources that are available here.”
Our Fall 2022 Cohort
Watch our short video introducing our fall 2022 cohort, their businesses, and what they’ve learned from the CEO Series.
Clois and Tanya McConico – Nova Skii Hair Experience is a Black-owned, women-owned, and Veteran-owned hair salon in Gardena. The CEO Series taught the mother-daughter duo “how to establish a business the correct way,” says Clois. “Having an LLC and understanding the projections of our numbers, it opened our eyes to so much and allowed us to run a successful business in Los Angeles. To my comrades in the salon industry, [the CEO Series] is something that we need in our community.” Nova Skii Hair Experience is located at 14021 S. Vermont Ave. Gardena, CA 90247. Follow them on Instagram and book an appointment on Booksy.
Chrystal Lapree-Tweedie – Savage Fashionista Styling Inc., a fashion styling and image consulting brand, helps clientele find personal style and dress accordingly. Lapree-Tweedie says of the CEO program, “I was able to be introduced to other industries I may have not even known about before. I definitely would recommend [the CEO Series] to a friend, it helps you bust out [of] your shell. I’m a very talkative person, but when my business is involved, I get shy.” Find Savage Fashionista Styling at their website, on Instagram, and on Twitter.
Donza Robinson – A1 General Merchandise is a sidewalk street vending operation specializing in custom memorabilia souvenir items for the tourist industry, with delivery, online, and mail-order options. Through the CEO Series, Robinson “learned how to manage [my] business in a way that’s more professional, allowed me to keep up with my finances and control the cost of goods I’m purchasing, and market and advertise my street vending in a way that’s more profitable and able to serve the needs of the consumers. [The CEO Series] is going to teach [business owners] everything they need to know in order to be successful.” A1 General Merchandise is located at the intersection of Cahuenga Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, operating from 12pm-9pm Friday through Sunday.
Candace Walker – Generation Connect brings together teens with seasoned adults for engagement, enhancement, and entertainment services, providing youth with soft skills and job training. Walker heard about the CEO Series through her graduate program at USC: “It doesn’t matter where you’re at in your business goals or operations, VSEDC provides a program to help you elevate and meet your goals.” Find Generation Connect at their website.
Lechristopher Williams – MedWorld Transport provides clientele with non-emergency medical transportation. Williams credits the CEO program: “I was able to learn about competitive analysis, research markets, find different resources. If you take yourself seriously as a business owner and entrepreneur, get into the program. It’s vital to your success as a CEO. The title alone lets you know the direction you need to go.” Follow LeChristopher Walker on Instagram.