Two Tacoma entrepreneurs recently won a financial boost from the William Factory Small Business Incubator. Becoming the first winners of the inaugural Idea & Pitch Competition, a partnership with Tacoma Community College.
William Factory hosted the finals for its first annual Idea & Pitch Competition with TCC on Friday, April 17. After receiving numerous applications in January, the field was narrowed down to four finalists. Melissa Littleton and Michael Okoro were announced as the winners and awarded $1,000 each from Commencement Bank and William Factory. Both will also receive a one-hour attorney consultation from Blado Kiger Bolan, PS law firm and six months of co-working space & services from Traction Space.
Littleton is currently pursuing a business degree focused in entrepreneurship at TCC. Inspired by her four children, Littleton’s idea is a reversible children’s clothing line that will optimize versatility and reduce clutter. She will be using the awarded funds to mockup clothing samples for her up and coming fashion line. Contact Melissa via email at email@example.com.
Okoro has an apparel company called Limitless, specializing in everyday casual clothing and focused on spreading the inspirational message of “living limitless.” The company was founded in 2016 and will use the funds for innovative advertising and marketing. Follow Limitless on Instagram @thelimitlesscompany and check out their website www.thelimitlessco.com.
This milestone is a major move for William Factory on its mission to build and support an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Tacoma/Pierce County, especially for underserved groups.
“These innovative entrepreneurs are forging pathways to reimagining and revitalizing our local economy that provide positive social impacts. This competition was a great stepping stone in that direction,” said Tim Strege, Executive Director at William Factory.
“Congratulations to all the winners and competitors of the inaugural pitch competition. The William Factory hosted a great event and Tacoma Community College’s business programs were pleased to participate. We look forward to working together to foster more great talent and ideas for next year.” Stated Mary Jane Oberhofer, Program Chair of Entrepreneurship and Global Logistics, Applied Management BAS degree at Tacoma Community College.
This news comes in the wake of many recent initiatives and accomplishments of the small business incubator, including:
- A new fellowship program created to support and grow entrepreneurial infrastructure in Tacoma. The program consists of 20 Tacoma/Pierce County based entrepreneurs in the idea and startup phase.
- Venture Funds Program, a pool of $25,000 to be dispersed in amounts of $500 to $2,500 to enrolled Entrepreneurship Fellows
- Free weekly business & entrepreneurship educational workshops via Zoom
William Factory Small Business Incubator is a non-profit that assists small businesses and entrepreneurs through their formative years. Providing access to resources such as: mentorship, financial capital, education, technology, business strategy and connections.
To get on the waiting list to be enrolled in the fellowship program please fill out an intake survey via their website. The workshops are free and open to the public with registration. To learn more about the William Factory Small Business Incubator, visit williamfactory.com.Print This Post