Recap: A Successful Journey Through Innovation at the Idea Expo

The evening at Talias Bassment Club last month on September 12th for our Idea Expo was a true celebration of innovation and community support. Eight individuals pitched their unique ideas, marking the culmination of two months of dedicated growth and learning together. What made this event truly remarkable was not just the pitch competition itself but the profound transformation witnessed in so many people who now possess the confidence to turn their ideas into reality.

The heartwarming sight of the entire crowd rallying behind both the pitching participants and those who brought their ideas without taking the stage was a testament to the strength of our community. We were honored to have representatives from N. Wilkesboro, including city planners, the town manager, and other staff, as well as from Wilkesboro, including the Director of Tourism. CEOs, investors, NC Works, friends, family, and many more also joined us, making it a night to remember as we celebrated not only our individual endeavors but also the collective spirit of innovation that unites us all.

The Idea Expo was a series of 6 courses where we explored how Ideas become businesses. Whether each attendee already owned a business or was considering starting one, this program helped countless people determine if their ideas were viable.

The goals of the Idea Expo were:

  • Develop a clear and compelling business idea
  • Craft and deliver an effective elevator pitch
  • Understand the essentials of networking and building relationships with investors and partners
  • Master the art of persuasive presentation skills
  • Prepare for the live pitch competition and receive real-time feedback from investors
  • Learn to leverage resources and experts to launch and scale your business
  • Win cash and other business resource prizes!

The eight participants and their business ideas were:

  1. Carl Bjerke, White label multi-faceted compliancy company (Masthead Coworking Prize)
  2. Tiger Posey, activity-based outdoor learning environment for children
  3. Luke Jarvis, food truck to complement Wilkes Youth Life Development, which he co-founded (Wilkes Print Shop prize)
  4. Caleb Drown, making and selling non-alcoholic beer ($1,000 Cash Prize)
  5. Andy Johnson, drone service for agricultural analysis
  6. Michael Miller, electric vehicle-focused dealership/ag center (Chappell Strategies Consulting prize)
  7. Kris Hurley, unique custom home construction
  8. Katie Jones, Unique boutique toiletries company (Greenstick Marketing Website/ Marketing package + $500 cash prize)

Judges for the pitch competition were:

  • Lori Brintle-Jarvis -Wilkes Community College Small Business Center Director
  • Chris Beckwith Taylor – GreenStick Marketing founder and chief strategist
  • Francisco Martinez – Wilkes Economic Development Corp. marketing manager
  • Karen Barnes – Agile City CEO
  • Greg Brady – co-founder and co-owner of Anchor Coffee in N.Wilkesboro and Winston-Salem

In the News

Thank you to our Sponsors

  1. WCC Small Business Center
  2. Wilkes EDC
  3. Downtown North Wilkesboro Partnership
  4. Greenstick
  5. Ed Brenegar
  6. Wilkes TDA

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