A winning night at The Porter House KC’s pitch event this week expands opportunity for more than just the company taking home the biggest check, said Taylor Burris.
AI Hub — led by Burris and her husband, James Spikes — earned first place and $8,000 in the competition, which also marked the completion of PHKC’s fourth cohort. Their venture is a one-stop-shop creative and incubator space in River Market.
“Winning this pitch truly affirms that we are on the right track,” said Burris. “We can continue to provide even more opportunities for The AI Hub and to the community of creative entrepreneurs that we seek to support as they grow their ideas. We are forever grateful for The Porter House KC.”
The Porter House KC serves early stage entrepreneurs and businesses that are attempting to launch or expand, but have been halted or delayed by the need for greater education or more resources.
Click here to learn more about PHKC.
“Our experience with The Porter House KC was incredible,” said Burris. “We have been able to grow our business with the invaluable knowledge poured into us while gaining a new family of business owners we never thought we’d have.”
Dan Smith, co-founder of The Porter House KC, offered gratitude to the historic Gem Theater, sponsor JPMorgan Chase, community supporters and members of the cohort for making the Tuesday night pitch competition a reality. (Editor’s note: Tommy Felts, editor-in-chief for Startland News, was among four judges for the event.)
“So many emotions from the night flowed through me — joy, privilege, appreciation, love, anxiety, stress, support, gratitude, a feeling of togetherness, and just being so KC,” Smith said in a social media post after the event. “These entrepreneurs who trusted us with a small part of their development, growth, their passions, their vulnerabilities, their time … means so much to me.”
Overall, $15,000 in prize money was awarded to three cohort members-turned-one-night competitors. Winners also included Dontavious Young, founder of Equal Minded Cafe, second place, $4,000; and Victoria Campbell Osborne, founder of The Scented Webb, third place, $3,000.
“I’m so grateful and excited about the pitch win! It introduces people to The Scented Webb and provides capital, which will help me with inventory,” said Campbell Osborne. “But I am equally thankful for the relationships created as a result of my being in this cohort.”
During the course of The Porter House KC’s 15-week program, the 17 business owners involved became her entrepreneurial family, she added.
“We continue to support each other, learn from each other, and prove the power of collaboration over competition,” Campbell Osborne continued. “As proud as I am of my accomplishment, I am also amazingly proud of my cohort. We represent the best of Kansas City — and why programs like The Porter House KC are so invaluable to entrepreneurs like myself.”
Other businesses competing in Tuesday’s pitch competition included: The BeVel Barber Studio, Brain Freeze Mobile Daiquiri Shop, Brand House Public Relations, Calisha’s Clothing Company, CultivatingLove, The Duffle Brand, Jungle Juice & Smoothie Bar, Max Wilde Stories, Mo’ Crepes N Cakes, The Pink Trunk and The POD.
Check out a photo gallery from the pitch event below.