On Tuesday, Nov 14, Mayor Andrew Gillum hosted the second annual Tallahassee Innovation Partnership Pitch Night.
Hosted at The Gathering on Madison Street, entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs came to Pitch Night to mingle and network with local business people. They were eager to share their ideas with other members of the community and gain possible resources to aid their business ventures. College students, business owners, innovators, and spectators were also in attendance.
Pitch Night, founded by Mayor Gillum, is apart of Tallahassee Startup week, which is a five-day celebration of the entrepreneurs and businessmen and women of the Tallahassee Community.
Tallahassee Startup week featured events such as Scaling 101, Raising an Entrepreneur, Tech Topics, and Startup/Micro/Small Business Mentoring. The week ended off with the Tallahassee Startup Showcase which displayed the progress of startup companies in Tallahassee.
According to Mayor Gillum, he hopes to continue to build and improve Tallahassee’s community by expanding the city’s reputation into a place where people can establish their homes, secure a job, and receive higher education from Tallahassee’s three institutions.
“I want us to be known as the capital city of start-up, technology, and innovation.”
Mayor Gillum recognizes the talent that is drawn in by the three major universities, Florida State University (FSU), Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU), and Tallahassee Community College (TCC), and doesn’t want students to be in the mindset that once they graduate from FSU, FAMU, and TCC they have to leave the city of Tallahassee in order to acquire a good paying job or even to start their own businesses.
Additionally, Gillum believes that if we build up our economy to support more businesses and establish a thriving private sector, we can retain talented students and convince people that Tallahassee is the place for them to “fulfill their dreams,” the Mayor stated.
Established local businesses attended Pitch Night in order to seek out potential investments which open the doors for other entrepreneurs and gives them an opportunity that they may not have been able to acquire on their own.
“Don’t waste the moment. Don’t waste the opportunity,” Mayor Gillum expressed to the people of Tallahassee.
Gillum’s goal is to create a “front door opportunity” by bringing purchasing power and investment power into one room. This way people are able to present their ideas that work day in and day out to perfect.
Many business people believe that Pitch Night is an excellent method to remain in touch with what happens locally. Mike Goldstein, director of Capital City Pedicabs, said this event was, “a great way to get out and network with our people of the community and see firsthand what other businesses are going through”.
Goldstein is a returning attendee of the Tallahassee Innovation Partnership Pitch Night. He stated this event has helped Pedicabs, his transportation business, expand because they bring people to and from Pitch Night.
Other attendees may not have come to the event to pitch business ideas, but just to support local businesses.
“This event encourages people to shop local and keep their dollars here in the community”, said Rosa Morgan.
Morgan is an active participant in the events of Startup week here in Tallahassee. “It’s fun to see entrepreneurs and their new ideas.”
The Tallahassee Innovation Partnership Pitch Night was established in order to join the community in an attempt to find ways to make it more suitable for the current and potential future residents of Tallahassee.