A Publication of WTVP

The Perfect Pitch
On September 24th, Startup Peoria will host its next KeyStart event, a bimonthly idea submission and pitch competition that awards a $5,000 investment to new business ideas. Online applications will be evaluated by a steering committee, and the top three applicants will participate in the pitch competition, while three semifinalists compete for one additional spot. At the event, the four finalists will have three minutes to present their polished pitch to a panel of judges, followed by 10 minutes of Q&A. Presentations are judged on factors like potential impact, scalability and likelihood of success—which will make or break your pitch.

Are you ready to compete? A great pitch starts with a plan, suggests Dawn Dickson, the entrepreneur behind Flat Out of Heels, a rollable, stylish flats solution to stiletto-sore feet. She’s an expert in the art of the pitch, having recently won a number of pitch competitions across the country for her ingenuity and delivery. Design your pitch around her advice:

  1. Fine-tune the presentation to hook investors early. Everything worth saying should be out within the first 30 to 60 seconds—so revise, revise and revise again for clarity.
  2. Identify the problem you’re solving. Be as clear as possible, and explain why the problem you’re solving is, in fact, a problem.
  3. Be passionate. It’s simple: you have the vision, and you have to share it convincingly with others for it to come to fruition.
  4. Be genuine. Overselling or being too slick with the pitch will cause you to lose credibility.
  5. Inspire trust and confidence. Explain why you or your product can fulfill a market need; share your experience and what makes you uniquely tailored to do the job.

For details on the next KeyStart competition, visit

What is LINC?

Leveraging Information and Networks to Access Capital

It’s an online matchmaking tool for small businesses and potential lenders—beyond local options. It was recently released by the U.S. Small Business Administration to help small businesses identify alternative funding opportunities. Are you in need of working capital, equipment, property or debt refinancing? To learn more or to register, visit

The Greater Peoria Economic Development Council recently approved the adoption of three significant economic development initiatives, all of which will become programs under the Greater Peoria EDC umbrella:

The Greater Peoria EDC works to drives economic growth in Greater Peoria through targeted business and talent development and attraction. For more information, visit

Visitors spent $665.5 million in the Peoria area in 2014, directly supporting 5,010 jobs and generating $15.24 million in local tax revenues.

Tourism numbers are up across the state for the fourth year in a row, according to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Office of Tourism.

“If we build a place where people want to visit,
We will build a place where people want to live.
If we build a place where people want to live,
We will build a place where people want to work.
If we build a place where people want to work,
We will build a place where business has to be.
If we build a place where business has to be,
We’ll be back to a place that people have to visit.
It all starts with a visit, and a visit doesn’t happen without us.”

To learn more about the economic impact of tourism and local strategies, visit For more on tourism statewide, visit iBi