As a community-owned bank, FirstBank takes pride in working with local businesses in the markets we serve. To celebrate entrepreneurs impacting the small business community in Colorado and Arizona, we recently hosted the first-ever FirstBank $20,000 “Elevator Pitch Business Contest.”

The contest kicked off on October 12, and by November 20, two local companies had won $20,000 each to continue growing their business and serving their communities.

Here’s how our inaugural Elevator Pitch Business Contest worked:

    • Businesses in Colorado and Arizona submitted 90-second Elevator Pitch Business Contest videos over a three-week period
    • Expert judges from Colorado and Arizona narrowed the field to 5 finalists from each state. The panel of judges included:
      • Colorado: Jack Tankersly, managing director of Meritage Funds; Tom Clark, CEO of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation; Tami Door, CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership; Erik Mitisek, CEO of the Colorado Technology Association; and Dana Coffield, business editor for the Denver Post.
      • Arizona: Michael Gossie, Editor-in-Chief of AZBigMEDIA which includes the AZ Business Magazine and other publications; Rick Murray, CEO of the Arizona Small Business Association; Patrick O’Grady, Managing Editor of the Phoenix Business Journal; and Todd Sanders, President and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce
    • All 10 finalist videos were posted to the FirstBank Facebook page on Monday, November 16 and fans voted to select the grand prize winners – one from Arizona and one from Colorado. Finalists included:
    • On November 20, FirstBank surprised the teams at Fox Hollow Animal Hospital (Colorado) and Brelby Theatre (Arizona) with their $20,000 checks as the first-ever winners of the FirstBank Elevator Pitch Business Contest
firstbank-7 [cropped]

Fox Hollow Animal Hospital – Colorado Winner

Fox Hollow Animal Hospital, a family-owned animal hospital that has been serving the Lakewood community for 20 years, plans to use the $20,000 to invest in new equipment and space to expand their treatment options. The money will aid in their work with animal shelters, where the doctors and staff donate their time and expertise, especially with orthopedic diagnosis, digital X-rays, and surgical support.

Brelby Theater Company - Arizona Winner

Brelby Theater Company – Arizona Winner

Brelby Theatre, a Glendale-based company that produces professional live theatrical shows and operates classes and workshops, will use the prize money for marketing, eliminating their startup debt and investing in new equipment.

To see the winning entries, visit the contest page here:

To applaud the runner-up in each state for their participation, FirstBank surprised each with a $2,500 to put towards achieving their business goals and objectives. FirstBank awarded Kokopelli Packrafts in Colorado and CO+HOOTS in Arizona with the prize. Kokopelli Packrafts designs and builds high quality packrafts targeted to backpackers, fishermen and river enthusiasts. CO+HOOTS is the only shared downtown Phoenix office location that promotes collaboration and provides the professional and inspirational self-sustaining space to grow and nurture entrepreneurialism.

Kokopelli Packrafts - Colorado Runner up

Kokopelli Packrafts – Colorado Runner up

CO+HOOTS co-working - Arizona Runner up

CO+HOOTS – Arizona Runner up

One comment on “Small Businesses Win $20,000 in the First-Ever FirstBank “Elevator Pitch Business Contest”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.