Providing resources for communities and entrepreneurs to create and retain jobs in Antrim, Charlevoix & Cheboygan Counties.

Consumers Energy Grants $20,000 to NLEA Business Competitions



Northern Lakes Economic Alliance •  •


Consumers Energy Grants $20,000 to NLEA Business Competitions

Consumers Energy’s Tim Petrosky, presents a $20,000 check to support the 2019 Northern Michigan Pitch Night Program. Hannah Sanderson, with the NLEA, and Cheboygan’s John and Marcella Costin, first place winners from the 2018 Grand Event. The Costins won for their new business venture, Cheboygan’s exclusive Stormy Kromer store and Ale House.

September 3, 2019— The Northern Michigan Pitch Night season for 2019 is off to a running start due to a $20,000 grant from Consumers Energy. The grant received by Northern Lakes Economic Alliance (NLEA) will support the growth of small business and entrepreneurship through four business model competitions where entrepreneurs can compete for their share of start-up capital.

“We know that Michigan thrives when our state’s small businesses and entrepreneurs have opportunities to grow,” said Tim Petrosky, Consumers Energy’s regional community affairs area manager. “Consumers Energy is excited to support the Northern Lakes Economic Alliance and Northern Michigan Pitch Night with our $20,000 contribution, and we look forward to seeing the winners put their great ideas to work in Northern Michigan.”

Northern Michigan Pitch Night is more than a catch and release program; the end goal is helping the businesses launch or taking businesses to the next level, which would not be possible without the support of the generous premier sponsors like Consumers Energy.

“Consumers Energy has been very supportive of our business model competition and entrepreneurship efforts. Their leadership and enthusiasm has also proven to be a catalyst to get other companies and community organizations involved in this great program too.  With the support of Consumers Energy, just in the past two years alone, we have been able to assist with over 40 business launches and expansions.” Andy Hayes, President NLEA. 

This year there are three county-wide pitch nights taking place in Antrim, Charlevoix, and Cheboygan Counties sponsored by Consumers Energy, DTE Energy Foundation, and various local sponsors; the top three winners from each county pitch night will then have the opportunity to compete for additional start-up funds at the Grand Event finale competition, hosted by NLEA. Applications for each county-wide competition can be found at the following websites, Antrim Pitch Night, Charlevoix County Ignite, and Invest Cheboygan County

Competitors will receive business counseling from professionals from the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) to strengthen their business plans and their 4-minute presentation. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners will be awarded as well as an audience selected People’s Choice Award. There will also be time for competing businesses to network and make connections with other business professionals and angel investors in the audience at each event.

For more information visit each Pitch Night website, Antrim Pitch Night, Charlevoix County Ignite, and Invest Cheboygan County Contact NLEA Office at 231-582-6482 for questions.

Contact: Carly Bortz NLEA Communications


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