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Virtual Pitch Competition Offers Funding Lifeline for Ethical Businesses

·2-min read

An upcoming virtual pitch competition could be a lifeline to small business owners, who are rethinking their businesses sustainably.

Coresight Research’s “Help America Stay Open” pitch event returns Thursday morning with nonprofit Retailers United. Coresight Research’s founder Deborah Weinswig formed the nonprofit amid the pandemic to bridge small to midsize wholesalers and retailers’ challenges in America’s reopening.

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The virtual event, held at 11 a.m. EST on Thursday, is free to attend and can be found via or

“Tomorrow’s pitch competition will include five amazing companies that represent the heartbeat of American Wholesale and retail,” said Kay Unger, designer, chair emerita of Parsons School of Design and executive board member of Retailers United. “This time, the core of these companies must have a focus on sustainability. Each one of these creative entrepreneurs have pivoted to viable solutions to sustainability.”

Companies with the most compelling grant need and best strategic value proposition around sustainability will win out, receiving $10,000 in grant funding. The prize winner will be decided immediately following the competition.

Three companies were awarded grants in the last pitch competition in August including infant wear brand Tubesies, receiving $10,000; Kynsho, an accessories company that got $2,500, and The Organic Candy Factor, which received $1,000. While not every company will receive funding for this competition, Unger reiterated that all finalists receive one-on-one mentorship from Retailers United’s experts.

Competing companies include ​​luxury vegan beauty brand Àuda.B, fashion incubator and business accelerator Fabric, on-demand technology platform and circular footwear brand Hilos, upcycled plastic and recycled gold jewelry brand Meta Jewelry and sustainably minded outdoor brand Tough Cutie.

The judging panel includes a broad swath of industry veterans (not all of them apparel) including: Cindy O’Connor, senior vice president of general merchandise manager of seasonal, home and apparel division at Sam’s Club; Robert Wong, vice president of Google Creative Lab and former design chief of Starbucks; Jamie Drake, cofounder interior design firm Drake/Anderson, and Beth Keck, visiting professor at Tsinghua University and former senior director, Women’s Economic Empowerment at Walmart.


Retailers United Pitch Session to Be Held Tuesday at Noon

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