Brockton, MA

Thousands of dollars in funding are up for grabs in MA and RI for the best business "pitches" to Brockton-based bank.

American Household News - with Cosmo Macero Jr.

HarborOne Bank has opened its sixth small business pitch contest to entrepreneurs in Rhode Island as well as Massachusetts.

The final days are winding down on an opportunity for entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small businesses in two New England states to make their pitch for up to $10,000 in funding from a Massachusetts bank.

Brockton-based HarborOne Bank's "Small Business Pitch Contest" closes for entries on August 31. It's the sixth year in a row the bank has offered a major cash prize for winning ideas and business plans pitched to a panel of judges - loosely modeled on the CNBC TV program "Shark Tank." But the 2021 contest, for the first time, is open to entrants from both Massachusetts and Rhode Island. HarborOne made a significant expansion into Rhode Island in 2018 when it acquired Coastway Bancorp.

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HarborOne Bank branch in Lincoln, RIImage from HarborOne Bank

"HarborOne recognizes the important contributions of small business owners and entrepreneurs throughout our community,” said James Blake, CEO of HarborOne Bank, in a statement from the bank's press release announcing the contest. “Our Small Business Pitch Contests are a creative way for us to support our community by helping small businesses with promising ideas to succeed. We look forward to hearing pitches from some of the most creative and hardworking small business owners and entrepreneurs in the areas in which we live and work.”

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SanoBe Superfoods founder Jenn Beauregard was the 2019 HarborOne Pitch Contest winnerSanobe SuperFoods image

For both the Rhode Island and Massachusetts contests, a selection committee screens all entries and chooses 10 finalists to pitch their ideas and business plans face to face with the panel. Finalists are given just five minutes and allowed the use of five visual slides to make their pitch. Each "pitch" is followed by a brief Q&A with the panel.

“Our Small Business Pitch Contests are a creative way for us to support our community by helping small businesses with promising ideas to succeed." - James Blake, CEO of HarborOne Bank.

Finalists will be notified by September 10 and the live pitch meetings will take place on September 28.

Past winners from the MA-based contests between 2016 and 2020 include a life coach, a grass-fed and free-range cattle and pig farm, a boutique food company that makes healthy peanut butter, and a cafe, bakery, and juice bar. Applicants can still get in for 2021 pitch contest consideration at www.harborone.com/pitchcontest.

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