ELEVATE Northeast Announces Social Equity Fund and Pitch Competition
WORCESTER, October 5, 2022 – As the Commonwealth awaits taxpayer-funded financial assistance for cannabis entrepreneurs, ELEVATE Northeast Events and Education, Inc. (“ELEVATE Northeast”) is proud to announce the launch of its Social Equity Fund and Social Equity Pitch Competition.
Through midnight ET Sunday October 16, 2022, certified Massachusetts Economic Empowerment Applicants (EEAs) and Social Equity Program (SEP) participants may enter to win one of three $50,000 grants. Upon the jury’s review of all complete applications, the top 10 finalists will be announced and invited to pitch their business in front of a live audience and jury at the first ELEVATE Northeast Social Equity Pitch Competition and awards ceremony, taking place at the DCU Center in Worcester on Thursday, December 1, 2022.
During the ceremony, two additional $25,000 “Community Choice” prizes will be awarded to finalists receiving the most audience votes, bringing the total prize money awarded to $200,000. The event will also feature networking opportunities with applicants, event sponsors, and community partners.
“Whether paying for architects, lawyers, and accountants, or expenses like security and insurance, launching a cannabis business in Massachusetts is expensive and complex for any applicant,” said TaShonda Vincent-Lee, director of community outreach at ELEVATE Northeast. “But for those who qualify as SEPs and EEAs yet aren’t provided with any financial assistance or access to state funds, the community must come together to help these small businesses with big needs gain momentum and cross that final license finish line. ELEVATE Northeast is proud to take the lead and create a platform for getting five-figure grants into the checking accounts of some of the region’s most promising business leaders.”
To qualify, applicants must be participants in the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission’s Social Equity Program or have Economic Empowerment status; provide business plan and financial information; and provide a brief video explaining their business and intentions for utilizing the prize money, among other requested information. The complete application and applicant eligibility details, as well as event registration link, can be found at elevatene.org/socialequityfund/.
ELEVATE Northeast’s 2022 Social Equity Pitch Competition is presented by Northeast Alternatives and additional sponsors and community partners to be announced. Businesses interested in sponsoring the highly anticipated in-person Pitch Competition awards ceremony may contact [email protected] to inquire about availability and options for meaningful participation and visibility.
About ELEVATE Northeast Events and Education
ELEVATE Northeast Events and Education is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization created to support the regional cannabis industry’s need for workforce and community education, advocacy and networking in a professional and inviting atmosphere. And because cannabis businesses cannot succeed without inclusion of multiple perspectives, an educated community, and informed customer base, ELEVATE’s mission is to empower underrepresented populations to work and lead in the cannabis industry, and to empower our communities to be educated customers and responsible consumers. Learn more at elevatene.org.