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Economic Outlook

Hello World Pitch Competition

November 05, 2018 (Updated: 12:11 PM)
Author Jeff Rea

About Jeff

Jeff Rea is currently the President & CEO of the South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce. Jeff has over 20 years of executive leadership experience in our region while working in areas such as Economic Development, Business Development, City Planning, Marketing, and Local Government. Jeff has a degree from Campbell University in Buies Creek, NC and executive management continuing education work at the University of Notre Dame.

Welcome to our show and to my weekly blog where I give you a sneak peek into this week’s show. If this is your first time, thank you for joining us. If you are a regular, thank you for your loyal support. We are working hard to keep on top of key issues impacting our local economy, and believe we have a good one for you this week. Ever hear about a Pitch Competition? It generally is where an entrepreneur makes a pitch about their business/product to a group of investors instead of one at time. You might have seen the popular ABC Television Program, The Shark Tank, on which entrepreneurs make their pitch to a group of investors and those investors often compete for an investment opportunity. It’s one of my favorite programs.

We kind of have our own Shark Tank like competition coming up in November in South Bend in the Hello World: A Pitch Competition from Nowhere, USA. The South Bend Code School has teamed up with Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist Cyan Banister on the event. On November 13, students form the Code School will be pitching Banister on their business ideas.

Joining me on the show is Alex Sedjenai, one of the co-founders of the South Bend Code School. You might remember Alex (Liggins), she joined us last season on the show. Alex is a talented entrepreneur and coder doing some amazing work with young people in South Bend, Elkhart, and now in Bloomington. She was an English major at the University of Notre Dame and taught herself to Code. Tune into hear more about her story and the work she and the team are doing to help young people in our region.

We’ll also dive into the pitch competition and will talk a little more about Banister. Banister first visited South Bend earlier this year as part of bus tour of the Midwest by two members of Congress and a dozen venture capitalists. Banister is part of the Founders Fund, which has invested in companies like Uber, Space X, Facebook, and AirBnB. Banister is a self-taught engineer and entrepreneur who as a homeless teen taught herself to Code and worked her way to a Venture Capitalist.

My Co-Host, George Lepeniotis, and our Producer Patrick Meehan, are doing double duty again this week on field shoots. George will introduce you to INVANTI, a Midwest start-up generator recruiting entrepreneurial talent to the region. Maria Gibbs, on of the INVANTI co-founders was kind enough to join us for that introduction. We hope to have Maria, Dustin Mix, her co-founder, or INVANTI fellows back for future shows.

We also welcome the other Alex Sedjenai, Alex’s husband to the show. Alex was the other co-founder of the Code School. Confusing, a little, but trust me, two of the best people and great entrepreneurs you’ll meet. They are doing some exciting things, you’ll want to pay close attention to the work going on at the South Bend Code School!

I hope you enjoy the show!

Remember, you can connect with us a variety of ways. Feel free to email me at jrea@sbrchamber.com; follow me on Twitter at @Jeff_Rea, follow the station on Twitter @wnitpublictv, or like us on Facebook.