By Tim Ryan

On April 19th, the Start Peninsula, an annual entrepreneurial event for the Hampton Roads, Virginia area, announced the second set of finalists for the 2023 competition. Following an online Micro Pitch event, The B.O.B.O. Collective, FreeLife, and KeepUp emerged as the top pitchers, beating seven other pitchers to secure their spots.

The B.O.B.O. Collective is a game-changer for black-owned consumer packaged goods (CPG) businesses. By offering access to essential resources, this initiative connects these enterprises with a network of black-owned supply chain professionals, helping them scale up their production, distribution, and shipping processes.

FreeLife brings innovation to addiction recovery by creating a social platform that offers an accessible, acceptable, and enjoyable experience. Through storytelling, community engagement, and an accountability program, FreeLife redefines the recovery journey for those in need.

KeepUp, a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform, provides a solution for busy professionals to maintain personal connections with their close contacts. The software creates client profiles, tracking significant dates, personal details, and life events. KeepUp’s personalized automation generates customizable texts, emails, and letters, enabling users to maintain relationships effortlessly.

Each finalist receives a $500 prize and an invitation to the Championship Pitch event on November 8th, where they’ll compete for $5,000 in business support and gain access to valuable local resources.

Start Peninsula will host two more Micro Pitch competitions on September 13th and October 11th. Early-stage businesses are encouraged to apply and participate in these exciting events.

The esteemed panel of judges for the first Micro Pitch included Erica McMannes, Co-founder of Instant Teams; Carlton Campbell, Sr. Director of Engineering at Elevance Health; and Chris Davidson, Founder and Lead Strategist at Orca.

Since 2012, Start Peninsula has been held annually in different Peninsula localities. The 2023 event is hosted by York County in partnership with the Cities of Hampton, Newport News, Williamsburg, Poquoson, and James City County. The competition continues to foster growth and innovation within the local entrepreneurial community.