Pitch Factory Offers Entrepreneurs Tools for Success

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Major League Baseball hurlers spend six weeks in Spring Training getting ready to pitch in the regular season. But where can small-business owners go to get primed for success? For St. Johns County entrepreneurs the answer is the Pitch Factory.

A six-week workshop presented by the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Women’s Business Center and the JAX Chamber, the Pitch Factory offers entrepreneurs and start-ups a chance to bring their game to the next level to develop and refine their pitches and strategy.

“The ground-level benefit to an individual going through the program is it walks them through how to look at their idea or business to help them enhance or develop it,” said Scott Maynard, vice president of economic development at the St. Johns Chamber. “The beauty of it is a brand new entrepreneur with an idea can go through this and gain a tremendous amount of knowledge on how to make the idea into a business.”

Maynard said the workshop helps small-business owners define what they are trying to accomplish with their product or service, helps identify customers and potential customers, discover ways to market the business and help them create a capability statement to refine their business model so they can understand how to pitch their business.

Maynard said the partnership with t he Women’s Business Center and the JAX Chamber to offer the Pitch Factory is part of the St. Johns Chamber’s vision for the county.

“One of our goals as a chamber is to help new businesses develop and grow,” he said. “This was really just a natural tie-in.”

Maynard said one of the Chamber’s priorities is career development and career management for St. Johns County youth and he recalled a recent presentation he made about career and employment opportunities in the area.

He said after the presentation a student came up and asked to show their idea for a new product.

“They pulled out a tri-fold cardboard display board and said it was their entrepreneur idea,” Maynard said. The concept was a shoe with a flexible solar panel on top, wired to a small battery pack connected to a USB port in the back of the shoe to charge a cell phone.

“For a 10th grader, that was a pretty good idea,” he said. “That in a nutshell captures what we’re trying to do at every level. We just want to create that energy and opportunity for individuals to start their own business here.”

The next Pitch Factory workshop runs June 1 through July 13 on Thursdays from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Ascension St. Vincent’s Hospital training space on the corner of Interstate 95 and County Road 210. The registration deadline is May 5 and more information is available from Maynard at scott.maynard@sjcchamber.com.