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Moonshot Pioneer Pitch Verde Valley Event

How to Apply to be a Contestant

In October 2022, VVREO proudly presents an exciting two-day event called Moonshot AZ Pioneer Pitch Verde Valley. This “Shark Tank” inspired entrepreneurial business pitch contest is open to anyone doing or wanting to do business in the Verde Valley. Do you have a “moonshot” idea or an existing business you’d like to expand? Entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to receive instruction and advice from various industry experts on how to start or accelerate their business/ideas while competing for cash and prizes. See the business leader mentors and judges, and contestants – 2019 Program, 2020 Program, 2021 Program

Cash and Prices - Contest prizes include cash awards of $1500, $1000, and $500, scholarships to the NACET Business Development Programs; and in-kind products such as: business cards, photography, website assistance and security, and much more. In addition, the Sustainability Alliance is offering Sustainable Entrepreneur awards of $1500 and $1000. These prizes are available to competition finalists that are starting a new business or revenue stream related to sustainability.

Eligibility – To be eligible to participate in this competition, you must be interested in and willing to do business in the Verde Valley. If this does not fit your parameters, check out the other state-wide programs in Arizona. Visit the NACET site.
To apply, candidates must submit a $35 fee and complete the online registration with the Yavapai College Small Business Development Center (SBDC).  Participants must also complete an application explaining their start-up idea, what they feel their unique selling proposition is, and why their product of service is better than what is already on the market.

Summary of Steps

  • Step 1 – Determine your Moonshot idea
  • Step 2 – Complete the form below, and pay the $35 fee
  • Step 3 - Following payment, your confirmation email will direct you to sign up with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Yavapai College and to fill out the business application. The SBDC is providing workshops and coaching as you prepare for the big event in October.
  • Step 4 - Attend the SBDC workshops. If you have not attended at least 3 of the 4 workshops, contact Ruth Ellen Elinski at ruthellen.elinski@yc.edu regarding the workshop content. Businesses need to be familiar with and equally prepared for the competition beginning on October 14. Workshops are from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm on September 14, 21, 28, and October 5 with potential presentation practice on October 12.

If you have questions or need assistance getting your business or pre-venture registered, reach out to Ruth Ellen Elinski, SBDC Business Analyst, ruthellen.elinski@yc.edu or Mary Chicoine, VVREO Executive Director at 928-300-1640 or moonshot@vvreo.com.

This event is for businesses that are located in the Verde Valley ONLY. Do not apply if you are out of the area.

Moonshot group


Moonshot Group


Moonshot group

What is the SBDC?

They are Arizona’s largest most comprehensive and accessible statewide source of assistance for small businesses in every stage of development. The Network consists of two teams – the Arizona Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) which provide tools, training and one-on-one business counseling, and the Arizona Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC) which help businesses seeking federal, state and local contracting opportunities.

They provide no cost confidential one-on-one business counseling plus no or low cost workshops and training.

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