Earlier this year, Bluevine announced a partnership with Nationwide to award one small business the chance to win $100,000 to take their company to the next level. We received more than 3,300 entry submissions from companies representing all 50 states. The companies spanned from very early-stage entrepreneurial ventures to family-owned businesses that have been in operation for 75 years. Although a daunting task, the Bluevine and Nationwide teams narrowed it down to seven incredible finalists from diverse industries, geographies and backgrounds. This week, we flew them out to Columbus, Ohio, to pitch their business proposals to an impressive panel of judges. 

The judging panel included Kelley Earnhardt Miller, sister of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and co-owner of JR Motorsports; Jasmine Green, Chief Customer Advocate at Nationwide; Lisa Gobber, Vice President of Small Commercial and Premium Audit at Nationwide; and our very own CEO, Eyal Lifshitz. Each business was judged according to the need in the marketplace, the inspiration for starting their business, and how they planned on using the funds. To bring the event together, Rodney Miller and Jann Carl, hosts of Small Town, Big Deal, held the room captive between pitches as the entertaining MCs.

The finalists also received the opportunity to consult with Nationwide subject matter experts across multiple business areas such as marketing, corporate finance, press relations, and more.

Although it was a tough decision, one business was championed the “Pitch to Win” winner: ActivArmor. ActivArmor is the first commercially available, 3D-printed casting and splinting company in the U.S. marketplace. The company’s immobilization devices are hygienic, waterproof, breathable and custom-designed to fit each patient while supporting their active lifestyle. Founder, Diana Elizabeth Hall, has made it her mission to improve the quality of life of all those needing immobilization, including children and the elderly.

“I am so grateful for this opportunity to take my company ActivArmor to new heights with the help of Bluevine and Nationwide,” said Diana Elizabeth Hall, Founder of ActivArmor. “With these new funds, I hope to provide greater access to our casts and splints for those in need.”

We also awarded funds to our second and third place runner-ups: Buckle me Baby Coats and Titan Mixer Bottle, who received $20,000 and $10,000 respectively. 

“I was very impressed with the strength, tenacity and passion of the small business owners who participated in today’s pitch event with Nationwide,” said Eyal Lifshitz, CEO and co-founder of Bluevine. “Bluevine knows firsthand that capital is often a constraint for small businesses, and I can’t wait to see what ActivArmor, Buckle me Baby Coats and Titan Mixer Bottle are able to accomplish with these awards.”

To learn more about the “Pitch To Win” contest and finalists, check out www.pitchtowinbig.com. Small business owners can also access working capital with Bluevine’s Line of Credit, Term Loan, or Invoice Factoring solutions.