Startup Grind helps local businesses refine their sales pitches

Need to connect with customers more important now with COVID-19


CLAY COUNTY – Business owners, prepare your pitches.

Being a business owner is difficult under normal circumstances, but it’s harder when COVID-19 is making it harder for customers to peruse your shelves and pay for your services. It’s the perfect time to focus on refining your business’ pitch and the Jacksonville Chapter of Startup Grind is looking to help.

“We’re looking for startup founders, innovators, creators and business owners,” Chapter Director Therese Gamble said. “They could have just an idea. Startup Grind is a platform for someone to test just an idea or what we call a minimum viable product. Our pitch events give them a chance to pitch it in front of a live audience to see if it’s even worth their time and effort to launch and to determine how to refine what they have.”

The event is Saturday, Aug. 29, and it’s a three-hour virtual Startup Grind Pitch battle that starts at noon where participants first participate in a boot camp of sorts before pitching their business ideas. The events happen each month throughout the year and they are typically in-person at places like the Jacksonville Zoo and other local establishments.

The boot camp is where founders and innovators can talk with professionals about their pitch and prepare it for the big digital stage. It’s here that they’ll learn Startup Grind’s two guiding pitch principals: can it be repeated and is it scalable?

“If it’s repeatable and scalable, then the traction and revenue streams will be there with investors,” Gamble said. “It will draw an interest from them and that’s ultimately the goal.”

Gamble said those two principals align with Startup Grind’s three values which are “make friends, not contacts,” “give, don’t take,” and “help others before helping yourself.” Startup Grind is the world’s largest community of startups, founders, innovators and creators, Gamble said, and it’s a place where diverse and like-minded individuals can come together to “connect, learn, teach, help, build and belong.”

Gamble said Startup Grind is the next step and next level that comes after entrepreneurs work with their local business help centers like a chamber of commerce. It has partnerships, online media and content drops, and a reach of over 3.5 million people in more than 125 countries, and entrepreneurs in Startup Grind get access to that family of services.

“This is not your average entrepreneurial global community,” Gamble said. “When you participate in a local chapter like ours, you gain access to tables, relationships and rooms that you wouldn’t get into on your own. That’s what makes us different from, say, a chamber of commerce.”

For those interested in this Saturday’s Startup Grind pitch battle, you can go to and register through the “events” page. You can sign up to participate in just the boot camp, in just the pitch battle, or both. You can also register to just watch the event and learn from it as an audience member.

The top three winners of the local pitch battle will go on to the global pitch competition. Gamble said those pitches will get marketing and an even wider breadth of tools, resources and services to prepare the pitch for the global stage.

“We are an organization dedicated to helping get your business, your idea, your pitch and your innovation off the ground,” Gamble said. “It’s not easy to do this alone and fortunately, you don’t have to.”


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