Fast Casual Executive Summit doubling ‘Perfect Pitch’ contestants, adding $5k prize
To celebrate its fifth anniversary of “The Perfect Pitch,” the Fast Casual Executive Summit is doubling the number of brands that will pitch their concepts to potential investors and franchisees during the annual Summit, Oct. 13-15, in Austin.
“This year’s winner will take home a $5,000 cash prize” said FastCasual Editor Cherryh Cansler, who describes the contest as a friendlier version of “Shark Tank,” for entrepreneurs looking for a leg up with growing their brands. “Over the years, we’ve seen several really great concepts and are honored to provide a vehicle to help them succeed.”
For a chance to be one of six finalists chosen to pitch their concepts, brands must nominate themselves here by June 14 and must meet the following three guidelines:
- Have at least one store open but no more than 10
- Must be no less than 6 months old and no more than 5 years old.
- Share revenue and average sales data.
By July 15, FastCasual will notify the six finalists, who will receive free advice from industry experts and two free passes to attend this year’s Summit. They must cover their own costs for travel and accommodations.
After each brand gives a five-minute pitch on Oct.15, attendees and judges will vote on the concept they believe is most likely to succeed in its expansion plans. The winner will receive bragging rights, $5,000 in cash, complimentary hotel and registration for one at a summit in 2020. FastCasual will also publish a story about the winning concept along with several mentions on its social media sites.
“It’s important to us as publishers to help the people from the industries we cover to connect with one another,” said Kathy Doyle, publisher of Networld Media Group, the parent company of FastCasual. “We strongly believe that those attending the Perfect Pitch will have the first chance to see and even invest in tomorrow’s fast casual leaders.”
Last year’s winner was GoPoke, a Seattle-based fast casual serving authentic Hawaiian poke and desserts. It also serves shaved ice, Dole Whip and tropical homemade drinks.
For GoPoke co-founder Bayley Le, who started the brand just about two years ago with two brothers, the victory was “exciting,” and attendance at the event proved invaluable.
“We’re learning,” he said of the Summit event. His advice for new brands is to “stand for something and believe it in.”
Street Shak Caribbean Kitchen of Toronto won in 2017, Los Angeles-based Rockfire Grill won in 2016, and the 2015 winner was Pincho, based in Miami.
Republished with permission from FastCasual.