EForAll to host a pitch contest in Lynn for aspiring entrepreneurs

LYNN — Eight aspiring entrepreneurs will pitch their business ideas in front of the public and a panel of volunteer judges on Thursday night.

The contestants, six of whom were selected ahead of time, will sell their ideas during the Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) Pitch Contest at Lynn Housing Authority & Neighborhood Development, 10 Church St., from 6 to 8 p.m.

The pre-selected contestants include Sergio Espinoza, of Lynn, the owner of a food safety and restaurant firm, which aims to help restaurant entrepreneurs achieve their dreams of opening up a restaurant or any other food service establishment; Michelle Guzman, of Lynn, the owner of Lynn Walking Shoe Tours, which offers a walking tour that was born from the desire to share the rich history, art and community of Lynn; and Elizabeth Souffrant, of Lynn, the owner of I Care 4 Your Hair, a mobile salon that specializes in servicing seniors and people with disabilities with hair styling and beauty services.

Other pre-selected contestants are Coral Cabrera, of Lynn, owner of Community Multi-Task Service, who is launching an affiliate program for her company, and aims to empower local residents, particularly Latina women, with the knowledge and tools to start their own tax preparation services business; Peter Lauenstein, a Massachusetts resident and owner of Pulse, which offers a way of amplifying socio-political impact by incorporating an action widget onto news articles and videos; and Wendy Kessler Cody, of Salem and Lynn, owner of New Focus LLC, which offers a 12-week anger management program consisting of weekly sessions.

Some of the remaining applicants will get a chance to present their ideas during the first hour, or showcase portion of the event, with the favorite chosen to pitch during the contest. The eighth pitch contestant will be a wild card randomly selected during the event, according to Derek Marin, EforAll program manager.

Marin said the pitch contest is part of EforAll’s recruitment efforts for its next Business Accelerator Program, which consists of 12 weeks of workshops led by area business experts, weekly meetings with a team of mentors, and a chance for entrepreneurs to win from a pot of seed capital for their respective endeavors.

Marin said the Accelerator is for small businesses in their beginning stages or for those that have seemed to plateau, but the owner thinks there are new opportunities for growth.

The mission of EforAll, based in Lowell and expanded to Lynn last year, is to strengthen mid-sized cities through inclusive entrepreneurship. Its other locations include Lawrence and New Bedford.

“Our mission is to spur economic development in Lynn and the North Shore and we do that through supporting local entrepreneurs and helping them successfully execute their business ideas,” Marin said.

EforAll will hold a second pitch contest in the city on Nov. 10, part of its recruitment efforts for its summer Business Accelerator Program, which is held in Spanish.

There will be four prizes for Thursday’s contest — the grand prize will be $1,000, second place will receive $750, third place will get $500 and an audience-selected fan favorite will receive $500.

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