Success isn’t always immediate, Elaina Paige Thomas said, grateful for lessons learned through trial and error, as well as a firm belief that persistence pays off.
“What I originally thought my business needed was not seen as a necessity to my panel of judges,” said Thomas, founder of The Next Paige Agency, recalling an experience earlier this year with Alchemy Sandbox — a grant program of The Porter House KC that provides critical funding, mentoring, and connections to founders in partnership with UMB Bank.
In May, Thomas took to the sandbox a second time, eager to pitch her talent management and production company to its judges with new flair.
“As a business owner, it’s trial and error. I take pride in remaining a student, learning and soaking up knowledge,” Thomas said. “I made some adjustments to my pitch, did more research on the topic and came back more prepared this round.”
The showing ultimately landed The Next Paige Agency a $5,000 grant.
“This win will help us continue our ultimate goal of giving back to the creative community here in Kansas City,” she explained, adding the funds will also fuel marketing efforts designed to reach more local creatives who might benefit from services offered by The Next Paige Agency.
Click here to learn more about Thomas and her work to develop a network of equipped and thriving creatives in Kansas City.
Click here to learn more about Alchemy Sandbox and its quarter one winners.
“While the more visible, key goal of the Alchemy Sandbox program — for which we are eternally grateful to UMB Bank for their partnership — is to find a way to put dollars in the hands of our small business owners, the other, less visible but just as crucial key goal is to find a way to elevate our small business owners by giving them the tools, experience, and confidence that comes from knowing the entrepreneurial landscape and how to effectively pitch [their] business,” said Miranda Schultz, program manager at The Porter House KC.
“With four out of the five small business winners of Quarter 2 having never participated in a pitch competition before the Alchemy Sandbox, these small business owners are not only leaning in to the uncomfortability of challenging themselves and their businesses with a new experience, but leaning in to the potential failure that might come with that new experience,” she continued, adding past applicants are encouraged to reapply for participation in the program’s Quarter 3 contest.
Interested in pitching your business to Alchemy Sandbox? Click here to apply.
Participation in the program doesn’t only pay off financially, Thomas said, it provides business owners with an invaluable opportunity to hone skills that could transform their entrepreneurial journey entirely.
“As entrepreneurs we are passionate about our businesses and we have to deliver our passion with facts of what makes your business worthy to win,” she said.
“I learned to present yourself the way you want to be seen. You are the most important part of the presentation. Your delivery, numbers, story, and understanding your audience are all key.”
This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful.