Businesses Can Pitch Ideas for Cash, Services

Entrepreneurs with a unique idea to sell can indulge their fantasies of winning over the judges next month, as Orlando gets its own, local version of the pitch show "Shark Tank."

SCORE Orlando, a non-profit group that provides free business mentoring services to Central Florida companies, is hosting its first-ever "Pitch Fest." The event will pit Orlando's best business ideas against each other in a competition for cash and services.

Six finalists will face off May 13 in front of a panel of judges at the National Entrepreneur Center at Orlando Fashion Square mall. A total of $6,500 in cash is at stake, plus free business services for the winners, the group said.

"We have helped thousands of small businesses in Central Florida with free mentoring services, and this contest is our way of encouraging the spirit of enterprise and entrepreneurship in our community," said Maria Rodriguez-Scott, chair of the SCORE Orlando chapter.

The event is part of SCORE's BizFest 50, a celebration marking the 50th anniversary of SCORE. The national organization uses volunteers to provide seminars and mentoring to small business owners to help them get off the ground and grow.

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