ent banner now available

elevator pitches header

Have an early-stage business and want to share its story? Drop us a line and ask about being included on our elevator pitches page.

Columbia

Who she is: Anne Churchill, owner and lead planner of AnnaBelle Events and Jubilee Planning Studio

What she does: AnnaBelle Events is a full-service event and wedding planning company. The company does event planning for corporate events, social occasions and weddings. Jubilee Planning Studio is a space for people planning weddings and events to troubleshoot and get guidance, along with being also a collaborative workspace for creatives.

When she started: October 2010

Where she’s based: Columbia

Where we found her: Columbia College’s Women in Entrepreneurship panel discussion

How you can get in touch: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Reporting and multimedia by Siddharth Vodnala

Columbia

elevator-pitches-logo

Who she is: Bea Doheny, founder

What she does: AstronoBEAds combines the 20-year-old Doheny’s love of art and astronomy. She makes jewelry inspired by the solar system, including the “Earth, Moon, and Sun” friendship bracelets and the Pluto choker necklace.

When she started: April 2016

Where she’s based: Columbia

Where we found her: 1 Million Cups Columbia

How you can get in touch: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Her pitch: 


Have an early-stage business and want to share its story? Email us about being included on our elevator pitch page.

Columbia

Who she is: Chrystal L. Sadler, owner

What she does: Chrystal L. Hair & Make-Up is a salon that strives to “bring out the beauty in you” using hair and makeup products that are sulfate-free and 100 percent vegan.

When she started: 2016

Where she’s based: Columbia

Where we found her: The Columbia REDI Innovation Hub

How you can get in touch: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Her pitch:

Columbia

elevator-pitches-logoWho they are: Connor Knabe and Noah Barnes, co-founders

What they do: Clarity Float Spa is a space to experience “nothingness.” The spa offers four float tanks with Epsom salt and water kept at around 94 degrees Fahrenheit. Knabe and Barnes say that floating is a way to unplug, gain mental clarity and relieve stress and anxiety. It can also be used as a therapeutic technique for those with disorders such as PTSD.

When they started: The spa will open this fall.

Where they’re based: Columbia

Where we found them: 1 Million Cups Columbia

How you can get in touch: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Their pitch: 


Have an early-stage business and want to share its story? Email us about being included on our elevator pitch page.

Columbia

Who she is: Jessie Yankee, founder and owner

What she does: EasyPC It & Computer Repair works to provide small businesses the IT support they need. Yankee started EasyPC after working with businesses that had become unhappy with IT support from other companies.

When she started: June 2015

Where she’s based: Columbia

How you can get in touch: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Reporting and multimedia by Siddharth Vodnala

Columbia

Who he is: Oluwatosin Oluwadare, founder

What he does: EyeCYou is an assistive technology for the visually impaired. It gives them an audible physical description of people they meet. This helps the visually impaired be more socially aware and increases their independence.

When he started: December 2014

Where he’s based: Columbia

Where we found him: The Missouri Innovation Center

How you can get in touch: Website | Facebook

His pitch:

Reporting and multimedia by Lauren Wrigley

Who they are: Joe Loebach and Gabe Simmons, FitFace founders

What they do: FitFace is an app that matches people with workout partners. Loebach and Simmons say that this approach helps people stay motivated, achieve fitness goals and maybe make new friends along the way. They say it’s like “Tinder for fitness.”

When they started: 2016

Where they’re based: Peoria, Ill.

Where we found them: 1 Million Cups Columbia

How you can get in touch: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Their pitch:


Have an early-stage business and want to share its story? Email us about being included on our elevator pitch page.

Columbia

Who she is: Ashley Yong, founder

What she does: Give A Box is an organization through which volunteers help distribute boxes of food, clothing and other supplies to homeless families and individuals.

When she started: June 2015

Where she’s based: Columbia

How you can get in touch: Website | FacebookTwitter

Reporting and multimedia by Siddharth Vodnala

Kansas City

elevator-pitches-logo

Who she is: Natasha Kirsch, executive director

What she does: The Grooming Project provides free job training for single parents living in poverty, teaching them to become pet groomers and helping them with job placement after completing the program. Kirsch’s mother is a pet groomer, and Kirsch says the trade provides working parents with flexible hours, job security, and a living wage so that they can support their children. The Grooming Project is the pilot program of EPEC (Empower the Parent to Empower the Child), an organization aiming to assist parents in need with job training and life skills.

When she started: 2015

Where she’s based: Kansas City

Where we found her: 1 Million Cups Kansas City

How you can get in touch: Website | Facebook

Her pitch:


Have an early-stage business and want to share its story? Email us about being included on our elevator pitch page.

Columbia

elevator-pitches-logo

Who she is: Lydia Melton, owner

What she does: Gunter Hans is a European pub and cafe located in downtown Columbia.

When she started: August 2013

Where she’s based: Columbia

Where we found her: The Columbia REDI Innovation Hub

How you can get in touch: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Her pitch:

Columbia

elevator-pitches-logo

Who they are: Christy and Jon Marc Asper, founders

What they do: The Ink Cafe offers customized stationary and paper goods for invitations, business cards, and holidays. Christy also teaches calligraphy classes.

When they started: 2015

Where they’re based: Columbia

Where we found them: 1 Million Cups Columbia

How you can get in touch: Website | Facebook | Instagram

Their pitch: 


Have an early-stage business and want to share its story? Email us about being included on our elevator pitch page.

Hartsburg

Who she is: Sarah Barnett, founder

What she does: International Blessings works to create “sustainable livelihoods for every family and individual on this planet.” The business sells handmade jewelry and other products made by impoverished artisans from all around the world, striving to improve their quality of life.

When she started: 2013

Where she’s based: Hartsburg

Where we found her: Grassroots Entrepreneurs in Columbia

How you can get in touch: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Kansas City

elevator-pitches-logoWho he is: Matthew Marcus, founder and chairman of the Kansas City Startup Foundation

What he does: The Kansas City Startup Foundation, a non-profit aimed at facilitating a resourceful entrepreneurial ecosystem in Kansas City, connects pivotal stakeholders through collisions, co-learning and community.


Read more about Matthew and his work: 


When he started:  Kansas City Startup Foundation officially received its 501(c)3 designation from the IRS in April 2015.

Where he’s based: Kansas City

How you can get in touch: Website | Twitter

His pitch: 


Have an early-stage business and want to share its story? Email us about being included on our elevator pitch page.


 

Columbia

Who they are: AJ Shrestha and Mahesh Dass

What they do: KwikDish is a web-based service that connects users to lunch options, allowing them to order meals from local cooks and restaurants.

When they started: February 2017

Where they are based: San Francisco and Columbia

Where we found them: One Million Cups Columbia

How you can get in touch: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Their pitch:

Reporting and multimedia by Jinghong Chen and Erdenetungalag Erdenekhuyag

Courtesy of Myversastyles/Facebook
Columbia

Who she is: Guiomar Sapi, creator, owner and stylist

What she does: Sapi runs Myversastyles, an online fashion business that sells clothes and accessories at affordable prices to women in developing countries. Purchases are made mostly in cash in Sapi’s home country of Angola, where internet commerce is not well-developed.

When she started: December 2016

Where she’s based: Columbia

Where we found her: A student entrepreneurship panel at the Regional Economic Development Inc.’s Innovation Hub in downtown Columbia

How you can get in touch: Website | Facebook | Instagram

Reporting and multimedia by Siddharth Vodnala

Columbia

Who she is: Madeleine LeMieux, founder and director of Resident Arts, freelance artist

What she does: LeMieux is an arts administrator of the non-profit that provides professional development to emerging artists and aims to build an artistic community. 

When she started: 2014

Where she’s based: Columbia, Mo.

How you can get in touch: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Her pitch:

Who she is: Brandy Von Holten, co-owner of Von Holten Ranch

What she does: Von Holten and her husband David are the fourth generation to own this family farm, which began in 1906. In 2014, they opened Von Holten Ranch as an equine trail riding facility, but this year they’re expanding to become a wedding and event venue as well. The ranch also offers cabins, RV sites, and horsemanship classes.

When she started: 2014

Where she’s based: Mora, Mo.

Where we found her: 1 Million Cups Columbia

How you can get in touch: Website | Facebook | Email

Her pitch: 

Columbia

Who she is: Jaime Freidrichs, director of the Missouri Women’s Business Center

What she does: The Missouri Women’s Business Center, a program of Central Missouri Community Action, was founded this year. Freidrichs hopes to empower women to start their own businesses and help women maintain small businesses. The center offers training, classes and resources for women business owners and serves eight mid-Missouri counties.

When she started: June 2016

Where she’s based: Columbia

Where we found her: 1 Million Cups Columbia

How you can get in touch: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Her pitch: 


Have an early-stage business and want to share its story? Email us about being included on our elevator pitch page.