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WISE Grand Rapids Non-Profit Pitch Competition [Small Sharks in the Big Lake]

WISE Grand Rapids Non-profit pitch competition

November 7th, 2018, WISE will hold the 9th Annual Giving Back event, Small Sharks in the Big Lake, the Grand Rapids Non-Profit Pitch Competition. WISE invites local Grand Rapids non-profits to pitch to local business leaders.

Selected Grand Rapids non-profits will pitch judges for funding consideration. The WISE audience and a carefully selected corporate panel will hear each non-profit’s unique pitch. WISE panelists will then ask questions and offer guidance to increase each organization’s chance for current and future funding.

If you are a local Grand Rapids non-profit, or if you know a local woman or family-centered non-profit that you would like to invite to pitch, please read the following information on Grand Rapids non-profit pitch competition eligibility and have them complete the online application.

Online Application

Submission deadline is August 30, 2018. Please note the schedule below for follow up and save the date to attend the fun event.

WISE Grand Rapids Non-Profit Pitch Competition Applicant Eligibility

  1. All organizations considered must be a local Grand Rapids area non-profit. Non-profit organizations located within a 30-mile radius of downtown Grand Rapids are considered to be Grand Rapids area non-profits for this competition. Please contact us if you are unclear if your location fits these parameters.
  2. The Grand Rapids area based non-profit must be majority owned and/or managed by a woman age 18 or older who is not related to any WISE founders.
  3. WISE encourages small non-profit organizations founded and/or conceived of by women. Female must hold key management role and be actively involved in the operations of the organization and participate in the WISE Shark Tank presentation.
  4. All non-profit entries will be dedicated to serving one of three categories: women, children or families. The mission of the organization is not limited. The mission/purpose of the organization can be; to feed, clothe, educate, care for, increase awareness of, etc.

WISE reserves the right to confirm that an applicant meets these requirements.

Grand Rapids Non-Profit Pitch Competition Qualifications

All non-profit organizations will be judged based on the same criteria. All submissions must be original work. WISE reserves the right to reject or disqualify any entry for reasons including, but not limited to:

  • does not meet the eligibility requirements;
  • violates any local, state or national law and/or appears to be unethical in nature;
  • does not follow application directions or submits an incomplete application

What to expect as a WISE Grand Rapids Non-Profit Pitch Competition Finalist

The WISE Grand Rapids non-profit pitch competition will occur during the WISE 4th Quarter Giving Back Event. The WISE Pitch is a “helpful feedback-driven” pitch competition where chosen local Grand Rapids non-profits will receive constructive insights from Grand Rapids area women leaders. The objective is to receive input from the expert panel, introduce the non-profits to the WISE audience, award monetary prizes, while increasing awareness of each non-profit through promotions and presentation.

Three finalists will be selected to present at the WISE Grand Rapids Non-Profit Pitch Competition

Presenters will be allotted 15 minutes each to present to the panel and audience. The presentation format is flexible from a one-on-one discussion to an interactive or Powerpoint presentation, the medium is up to the presenter. Chosen non-profit presenters will be evaluated by judges who will select the winners.

In addition, a ‘Popular Vote’ prize will be awarded. The WISE audience will vote for their favorite non-profit pitch. Five dollars of each ticket sold will fund the popular vote prize.

WISE also encourages local professional women and men to donate monetary awards or services to the non-profits. We encourage WISE members and friends to consider donating funds, products or services that may benefit the non-profits. From office supplies to complimentary consultations or mentoring we hope each non-profit will receive value for many years to come. Please email info@wiseconnections.org if you have a product or service that could benefit one or all of the local non-profits who are giving so graciously to our community.

2018 Timeline (subject to change)

Application Period – July 20 – August 30, 2018

Review Period – Sept 2018

Semi-Finalist Interviews – mid-Sept

Finalists Notified – beginning of October

Final Pitch Competition – November 7

Sponsors: Comerica, Herman Miller, Richard M. & Helen DeVos Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation GVSU

Women In Successful Enterprises and Grand Rapids Funny Girls on Achieving Work Life Balance

Grand Rapids Women In Successful Enterprises and Grand Rapids Funny Girls on Achieving Work Life Balance

This evening event was created for women in business to poke fun at the ever-elusive goal of work-life balance.

Grand Rapids Women In Successful Enterprises (WISE), a collection of leading, like-minded and entrepreneurial women, has announced that it will host an innovative business event at Start Garden, Downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan on the 17th of May 2017. This groundbreaking and revolutionary event will feature captivating business networking and educational get-together focused on discussing how to use humor to achieve work-life balance and feel better about chaos.

Based in Grand Rapids Women In Successful Enterprises (WISE) was established with the primary aim of providing an encouraging environment for women-owned businesses to network and work together to build wisdom and extend support for growth and business success. The activities of the non-profit resource for women entrepreneurs are focused on fostering an environment of growth and support where businesswomen connect with each other; thereby taking their businesses to the next level and contributing to each other’s successful business growth and development.

In the bid to achieve this laudable primary aim, Women In Successful Enterprises gathered a team of qualified women entrepreneurs and business veterans to organize events, seminars, and lectures designed to empower and educate women in business on ways of engaging and surviving in their businesses. “Through a perfect blend of expertise and the business experience of our noble team as well as leveraging advanced technology, we have successfully delivered the most creative and educating events to women in business within the West Michigan area”, said Connie Sweet, co-founder of Women In Successful Enterprises.

To host this creative and fascinating event, Women In Successful Enterprise is collaborating with other organizations that will contribute to making the event a memorable occasion. The organizations include SBDC, GROW and Funny Girls.
For further information about Grand Rapids Women In Successful Enterprises (WISE) and its upcoming business event visit our events section on the website.

Don’t Be Phish Bait!

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How Business Email Compromises Affect Your Small Business [or Organization]

Grand Rapids Women In Successful Enterprises in tandem with GROW welcomed attendees to the March 16. 2016 1st Quarter WISE Event. WISE members include women owned business leaders in the Grand Rapids area and throughout West Michigan and Lansing. All Grand Rapids women in business, and men, are welcome to attend, regardless of WISE membership or business ownership. This event attracted Grand Rapids women owned businesses and women in business who collaborate and work with with women business owners. The evening featured dedicated business networking time and an educational focused on keeping small and large businesses and corporations throughout the grand Rapids area safe from fraudulent hacks.

The event was sponsored by Comerica. We were fortunate to have a few ‘Comericans’ present. Patti Griswold, Senior Vice President, Michigan Market Manager Retail Banking Comerica Bank welcomed everyone and introduced our speaker, Nicole Rackov. Nicole is Vice President of Fraud Services at Comerica Bank. Her presentation was an eye opener for all who attended. With email and phishing scams being aware of the tricks and techniques scammers use to infiltrate private information is critical to keeping our companies and our personal finances safe.

Comerica Logo

Don’t Be Phish Bait was Hosted by Grand Rapids Community Foundation
Kicking off the 2016 event calendar at GRCF was like coming home again. As is their norm, Jan Burns and Shaun welcomed us graciously helped organize the space for optimal networking and comfort. Many attendees enjoyed ours of the original Anheuser-Busch Icehouse after the presentation. It is a historical space and GRFC has done a beautiful job restoring the building and repurposing it for their use while extending it to groups like WISE. We’re very fortunate GRCF welcomes WISE and WISE members. And a big shout out to Jan Burns who moves tables and seating around like a pro mover!

The event couldn’t have been more successful because we had the finest food in town! Food and drinks were catered by Amore Trattoria Italiana highest quality, delicious food and first class service. Thank you Jens and Chef Jenna. The vegetarian mushroom caps are now a huge favorite – and even the most stringent and healthiest amongst us had to have a spoonful of the decadent tiramisu! Thanks Amore team! WISE women know a good thing when we find it – and we return time and time again.

Special thanks to the event planning team:
Connie Sweet – WISE C-Founder and Connection Graphics
Mary Kent – WISE Advocate and Realtor® at 5-Star Real Estate
Debbie Van Hevele – VP, West/Southwest Regional Manager | Retail Bank
Comerica Bank
Mary Hartfield – GROW

Don’t miss out next event: City of Bliss : Empowering Diversity and Inclusion with Local Businesses. Mayor Rosalyn Bliss will be presenting WISE attendees about her plans for increasing business opportunities for everyone. The GR Forward plan will also be a highlight. The event will be held at Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc in tandem with Michigan Women Enterprise Council following their Executive Leadership Institute for Women conference at Grand Valley University Downtown Grand Rapids campus.

Blaze a Bold Trail in a Male-Dominated Career

Thank you to all who attended and a special thanks to Judge Sara Smolenski for such a great event!

Event Description
While women have made great strides in many aspects of the business world, there are still careers that are dominated by men. Learn from one trailblazer, Judge Sara Smolenski, about what it takes to craft a successful career when most of your mentors hang out in the men’s room. Judge Smolenski will infuse this conversation with humor but make no mistake, her career path wasn’t always lined with roses. Bring your questions and plan on sharing your own successes with other business-minded women as you network.

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Thank you all for a great time!

A great time with WISE women last Wednesday at Kent District Library Kentwood Branch. Rick from Reference USA loaded the audience with research tips to use now and in the future to help grow their businesses.

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Chef Jenna ‘Builds Success form Scratch’ with Grand Rapids Business Women

Chef Jenns of Amore Grand Rapids at WISE event Grand Rapids Business womenWISE Grand Rapids business women were fortunate to spend time with Chef Jenna of Amore Trattoria Italiana on Wednesday August 20 at the Downtown Grand Rapids offices of Varnum. All the elements of a successful business networking event were in place; a beautiful venue with spectacular views of the Grand Rapids skyline with billowing white clouds and crisp blue sky. Wine was plentiful as was the tantalizing hors’d oeuvres and desserts prepared with expertise and lots of amore by Chef Jenna and her staff.

All of these treats served along with the laugh out loud and heartwarming story that is the life of Chef Jenna captured the audience and endeared WISE attendees to the talented Grand Rapids female chef. Chef Jenna and husband Maurizio Arcidiacono have carved a special place in the hearts of Grand Rapids foodies with their award winning food and unique touch of personally greeting their customers.

Chef Jenna’s passion, love for Italian food and serving the Grand Rapids community is apparent in the tasty morsels she provided, the smiles she shared, and the love that filled the room as she gave us a taste of what Amore is all about. As every successful business owner knows it’s not all award ceremonies and recognition. It is the skill of rolling with the punches that separates the week from the strong. WISE attendees heard first hand authentic stories spun with Chef Jenna’s funny twists on the day to day challenges that the restaurant industry delivers. Thankfully, she loves what she does enough to plow through, always see the humor and share the love.

chef jenna of Amore in style with bacon and egg shoe designs

You know anybody who wears bacon and egg shoes is going to fun to hang out with!

Be sure to visit the restaurant to enjoy homemade pasta, authentic recipes from Nonna, and the unique specialties offered. Share your reviews with Chef Jenna and Maurizio when they visit the dining room. If you don’t see Chef Jenna at the restaurant while you are there she is probably out at event like WISE where she is gifting her time, expertise and food for a greater cause.

We are so grateful to Chef Jenn for saying ‘yes’ to WISE and sharing her time, story, love and food with us! We didn’t even have to have Jeff Daniels in the crowd to bring her in!

This is just the beginning of the many more evenings these Grand Rapids business women will share with her and her incredible Italian food at her restaurant located at 5080 Alpine Ave. Comstock Ave, MI 49321.

If you are interested in a special treat Chef Jenna offers chef tables at the restaurant and catering for events. Call ahead for specifics. You can also visit the Amore website for more information, reservations, recipes, and hours. While there , indulge in archived videos of local television spots where Chef Jenna has featured some of her recipes. For daily treats follow Amore on Facebook and Twitter along with AmoreChefJenna on Twitter and personal Facebook.

I don’t believe there has ever been a more enjoyable evening of networking with local Grand Rapids business women. Thank you Chef Jenna! Benvenuti!

 

How Does Domestic Violence affect the workplace? Our Annual Giving Back Event Supports YWCA Domestic Violence Division

 

Give a Gal a Lift!Give-A-Gal-A-Lift

 
Join us for our Annual Giving Back Event! Grand Rapids Community Foundation welcomes us again this year. The historic GRCF building offers an open and comfortable area for networking.

Did you know an overwhelming number of assailants use company resources; computers, cars, phones… to track or stalk their victims? Becky Diffin, Director of Supportive Housing of Grand Rapids YWCA, shares examples of women who have had to abandon their careers because of the violence they endured at home and who, with the assistance of the YWCA have successfully transitioned into new careers and happier lives. Learn more about what we can do as women in business to support the YWCA’s efforts to decrease domestic violence in our community.

The YMCA Domestic Crisis Center accepts those who are fleeing domestic violence situations. The Center attempts to provide shelter and items of need to help ease the discomfort of living in a place that is not ‘home’.

We are looking for undergarments for men, women, and children for victims of sexual assault.

We are looking for men’s boxers/briefs (sm, med, lg), children’s underwear (any size), and women’s underwear (non-brief type) sized 5-8.

 

Please Help By Donating Today!

 

Lift Up the YWCA! Show your support and donate a new bra at the event. The YWCA has a long wish list to meet the needs of all the women they serve and there is always a need for new undergarments. If you prefer, monetary donations help this local non-profit continue its’ efforts in serving these women in need too. Please visit their website for their current Wish List. WISE will donate $5.00 from each ticket purchased to the YWCA Domestic Crisis Center. Please invite your friends!

Wednesday, November 06, 2013
5:00pm – 7:30 pm

$ 25.00 / person

WISE will donate $5 of every ticket to the YWCA Domestic Crisis Center

 
Grand Rapids Community Foundation
185 Oakes Street Southwest
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

 
 

WISE on eightwest – woodtv 8

WISE women share advice

Learn with Women in Successful Enterprises

 

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WOOD) – Women in Successful Enterprises (WISE) unites the skills, knowledge, and resources of established women-owned companies. Join Women in Successful Enterprises (WISE) as they engage in an insightful panel discussion to elaborate on what opportunities exist and how your business can obtain consideration for them. “How Can We Serve? Strategies for Service Companies to Win The Bid” will be held July 25, just one WISE opportunity for you.

The panel consists of experienced sourcing agents including Debra Quade of Kellogg’s Corporation, Melissa Fennell, Senior Supplier and Development Manager for Herman Miller, Mansfield Matthewson of Grand Rapids Community College, and Pam Smith, Certification Director for WBENC-Great Lakes, They will all be available to answer questions about women owned business certification.

“How Can We Serve? Strategies for Service Companies to Win The Bid” will be held on July 25 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Varnum Law Offices. The cost is $25 to attend.

Panelists will take your questions and address:

How can your woman owned business be the service resource large companies seek?
What best practices should be adopted to engage supplier diversity decision makers?
Are large corporations continuing to encourage diversity supplier development and engagement?

Varnum
333 Bridge Street
Grand Rapids, MI 49501

Click here to register for “How Can We Serve? Strategies for Service Companies to Win the Bid”

More upcoming WISE events:

November 6, 2013: How does domestic violence affect the workplace? Annual giving back event supports YWCA Domestic Violence Division. The Grand Rapids Community Foundation welcomes back wise to their historic building. It’s open, comfortable, and great area for networking. The event is $25 and goes from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Read Article: WISE women share advice on woodtv.com

WISE Coverage for From Girl Scout to CEO

Life Skills Learned in Girl Scouts

Take a look at this WOOD TV Eight West segment from February 5, 2013. Maureen Fitzgerald Penn of Penn and Ink joins Girls Scouts Shore to Shore Director Gloria Lara and the EightWest gals to discuss some of the many connections between teaching young girls leadership skills in Girl Scouts and how CEO are developed!

The event is going to be held at Work Squared in Grand Rapids and is sponsored by Herman Miller Small Medium Business group. Tasty cookie treats will be on hand and a special opportunity to win a Herman Miller Sayl chair ($400 value)for those of us who work hard and deserve comfy desk seating!

Life skills learned through Girl Scouts