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

Six entrepreneurs advance to Grand Event finale Business Model Competition



Contact: Carly Bortz NLEA Admin/Communications

231-582-6482  | 


Six entrepreneurs advance to Grand Event finale Business Model Competition


November 13, 2019, BOYNE CITY – 19 entrepreneurs from Cheboygan and Antrim Counties pitched their business model at two Northern Michigan Pitch Night events last week for a chance to win their share of $35,000 in combined startup funds at Invest Cheboygan County November 6, and Antrim Pitch Night on November 8.

The top three winners from both Invest Cheboygan County and Antrim Pitch Night will now advance to the Grand Event finale Business Model Competition Wednesday, November 20 at Boyne Mountain Resorts to compete for their share of an additional $18,000 in funds.

Here are your Grand Event Competitors:

Invest Cheboygan County Winners

1st Place-$12,000:  Matt Whitener, Northland Brewing

2nd Place $6,000: Laurie & Terry Musclow, Secrets On Main Bed & Breakfast

3rd Place $3,000 & People’s Choice Award $1,500: Ben Kurth, Kurth Robotics

Antrim Pitch Night Winners

1st Place $10,000 & People’s Choice Award $500: Audrey Hartzel & Marissa Griffore, A&M Beauty

2nd Place $3,000: Dan & Melanie Bennett, Breezeway Paddlesports

3rd Place $1,500: Melissa Zelenak & Carson Rubis, Sunshine Recycling

“Northern Michigan Pitch Night really is a wonderful and exciting opportunity for entrepreneurs. We saw 36 business launches as a result of last year’s competitions, and we’re excited to keep that number growing long term,” said Andy Hayes, President of Northern Lakes Economic Alliance. “The goal of the Northern Michigan Pitch Night program is to help each of these businesses launch and work through their challenges to have successful businesses in the long term.”

“Consumers Energy is proud to help support these Northern Michigan Pitch Night events, and hats off to the NLEA for making them happen,” said Tim Petrosky, Area Manager for Consumers Energy. “We are truly excited to watch these contestants expand and grow their businesses.”

Come out and support these entrepreneurs and vote for your favorite business during the People’s Choice Award at the Grand Event, Wednesday, November 20 at Boyne Mountain Resorts, Matterhorn Room. Doors open at 5pm and the event starts at 5:30pm. Admission is free, but please reserve a seat. Follow this link to get your seat

Thank you to our local planning team for helping make this event possible; our coaches who helped our finalists put their best foot forward for the competition; and our panel of judges who had the difficult job of selecting our winners. Special thanks to our major sponsors, Consumers Energy and DTE Energy Foundation, as well as various local sponsors without whom this event would not be possible.

Core Partners

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