Retailers United, a charitable organization that seeks to help those in wholesale and retail impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, will be hosting a virtual pitch session on Tuesday at noon, EST. The event is free to attend.
Retailers United’s mission is to help small- and medium-sized wholesalers and retailers navigate through the current climate by providing various types of support including financial sponsorships, services and mentorships. They have already had four grant winners in the last few months. Among them was fashion designer Rubin Singer of Rubin Singer Designs, who received a $20,000 gift to help his company.
On Tuesday, five companies will vie for a $10,000 grant, which will be decided that afternoon.
They are Astouri, a women’s ready-to-wear company that features city/licensed artwork on its designs; Metrical Inc., an artificial intelligence company that creates technology to prevent cart abandonment by targeting offers, discounts and live-chat to shoppers; Might Kind, a children’s magazine that’s focused on kindness, compassion and diversity; Pop Bag USA, a handbag company that enables consumers to design their own bags, and Turn, a sustainable company that’s focused on turning organic waste into resources.
The finalists will be offered one-on-one mentorships from industry leaders. Deborah Weinswig, chief executive officer and founder of Coresight Research, is the event’s emcee.
The pitch will be followed by presentations from RevTech start-ups, Recurate/Resale Made Easy, Singuli and Topl.
Registration for the event is at bit.ly/RUPitch1208.
The judges for the pitch competition are Padmaja Bommareddy, vice president, strategy and business development, apparel at Walmart; Maxine Clark, founder and former ceo of Build-a-Bear; Nick Graham, ceo of Nick Graham Organization; David Matthews, managing director, RevTec Ventures, and Mazdack Rassi, cofounder and chief brand officer of Milk Beauty.
Three companies were awarded grants in the last pitch competition in August. They are Tubesie’s, an adaptive clothing company that makes infantwear with feeding tubes, which was the grand prize winner of $10,000; Kynsho, an accessories company that got $2,500, and The Organic Candy Factor, which received $1,000. They each received mentors as well.
Retailers United executive board consists of Tami Fersko, former group president of LF Americas; Kay Unger, chairman emeritus of Parsons School of Design; Weinswig of Coresight; Brice Wu, head of engineering at Komodo Health, and Karsten Newbury, chief strategy and digital officer at Gerber Technology.
According to Fersko, more than 30 companies applied for Tuesday’s pitch competition and they narrowed it down to five. RevTec Ventures is the event’s sponsor and will be providing the $10,000 grant money, and the pitch event is powered by Coresight Research. Fersko said they are looking to raise exposure and get more corporate and individual sponsors/donations to keep the program going into 2021.
Unger added, “What’s so wonderful is it exposes a lot of people. People can write to us if they need help, and we are beginning to build a data base.”