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Making the business pitch

Making the business pitch
News Editor
Nine local entrepreneurs recently got feedback on their business ideas from business professionals through a new program at the Entrepreneur Center Northwest Tennessee.
The nine business owners represented on a recent Monday night had businesses in various stages of development. Some were just getting started, while others had been in business a while and were looking to expand.
All business owners made two-minute pitches and were graded in several categories on a scale of 1 to 5.
Carol Reed, the center’s executive director, said she was impressed with the ideas.
“It was evident that the entrepreneurs had put a lot of time and effort in trying to reduce their story to a two minute spiel,” Reed said. “They did an outstanding job of being able to condense that information. Their pitches were reviewed by the board members and received very positive responses and comments from the board members.”
Within the next six weeks, those nine business owners will participate in the center’s fall training program, which provides assistance with tasks such as creating business plans, marketing, start-up costs and balance sheet help.
The nine business owners were selected from 18 submissions and included people from Weakley, Obion and Gibson counties. Three of the business owners were referred from the REED Center.
The center, which has been open about four months, looks for people who will soon be in a position to launch a business, not just those who have basic concept but few details.
“I am very excited about the future of our program and the opportunity to help start-up businesses improve their chances of success or sustainability,” Reed said. “I have enjoyed getting to know the entrepreneurs. In just our short time, we’re finding that the entrepreneur spirit in northwest Tennessee is alive and well.”
The nine business owners present were:
• Chris Mallon, Dresden
A to Z Pet Supply
A national wholesale pet and farm pharmaceutical company headquartered in Dresden. The store offers a wider selection of products not available in rural areas.
• Brian Claxton, Martin
CEB (Commercial Equipment Broker) provides high-quality commercial and industrial equipment for businesses. UnitedBids operates a retail store in Martin as well as online.
• John Cole, Martin
Mt. Pelia Innovative Solutions
Provides agricultural related product development, engineering and manufacturing; also is a wholesale distributor of a stainless steel version of a corn cutter, a cabbage/vegetable cutter, and hand-powered and electric peasheller.
• Lynn Cox, Union City
City Chick BBQ Sauce
Manufactures three distinctive BBQ sauces — Hot, Mild, and Lo-Card — with new recipes currently being developed. Uses no additives or preservatives.
¶ Tymikia Glen, Dresden
Tight-N-Tone Fitness
Women’s-only fitness studio. Also a mobile training business, who also offers in-home personal training for women with busy schedules and has a fitness studio which offers Group Personal Training and Drums Alive classes for women. Also offers nutritional seminars every other month.
• Debbie Reynolds, Martin
Veterinary Home Healthcare
Provides convenient and compassionate professional veterinary care for companion animals in the comfort of your own home. This service will help pet owners by not having the hassle of taking large or anxious pets to the vet and back  
• LeEllen Smith, Troy
Outside IN
Up-cycles donated T-shirts into new garments in a manufacturing process that will employ workers who have been marginalized from the mainstream workforce.
• Steve Cox, Troy
Touching Hearts at Home   
Provide in-home care for seniors and those with disabilities. Licensed by the state with caregivers that are screened, insured and bonded and go through a comprehensive training program. Serving Weakley, Gibson, Carroll, Crockett and Madison counties.
• BJ VanCleave, Milan
Home Master’s Group
Provides “One Call Service” for all home needs. Service is a lost art when it comes to residential services, everyone is interested in new construction, but most people avoid remodels and maintenance like it was a contagious disease. Home Master provides unmatched service, custom maintenance, through proprietary software, additions and concierge customized services to meet customers’ needs.
Published in The WCP 11.15.12