Empowering People
& Revitalizing the Community

Citizens Bank Pitch Competition and Award Ceremony

Posted on 1/9/2023 by Ray Lamboy in LAEDA News

Camden, NJ- On December 8th, 2022, LAEDA Women’s Business Center hosted an intimate alumni networking event to present the winners of the second year Small Business Pitch Competition sponsored by Citizens Bank. The competition was open to LAEDA alumni who successfully completed either the Entrepreneurial Development Training Program (EDTP) or Women’s Business Academy (WBA). The prizes awarded totaled $10,000, and were awarded to three individuals, two (2) prizes were awarded to past EDTP alumni and one (1) prize was awarded to a recent WBA graduate.


The competition consisted of two rounds where round one consisted of making a compelling case on how the prize money will help the business get to the next level. There were over twenty-five (25) applicants who jumped at the chance to advance to round two and get one step closer to receiving money for their business. In a grueling process, twelve (12) business owners were selected to move to round two. During the second round, entrepreneurs had the opportunity to pitch their business to representatives from Citizens Bank, which included Sharana Worsley, VP of Community Development Market; Tiffany Smith, Business Banking Relationship Manager; and Allen Lamboy, VP of Community Development Commercial Lending.


The competition’s finalists represented well-seasoned businesses as well as recent start-ups in a wide range of industries.  The semifinalists were Chante Brown (Instrumental Sterile Processing Institute), Rashaan Hornsby (Visionary Entertainment, LLC), Marcela Tapiero (Your Dreamwall), Andrea Riley (C.A.R.E. LLC dba. Marriage Service Technicians), Clara Lyons-DeVaughn (Lyonsview Realty), Shonda Carter (REFRESHING CLEANING SOLUTIONS, LLC), Tisha Davis (Design Junkie Tees), Miguel Hernandez (United Resources), Nataly Quintero (Meraki By Nat), Luis Vargas (V.C. Auto Detailing & Window Tint), Tomeia Thornton (Munchies Amazing Sweets), and Lavonne Nichols (Say something good LLC).


Due to great pitches and innovative ways to spend the prize money, these finalists made it very difficult for the judges to determine a winner in each category. Judges soon chose winners to be announced in a special presentation during LAEDA WBC’s last Alumni Networking Event of 2022.  After much anticipation, the winners of the competition were announced: 1st Place went to Rashaan Hornsby, owner and operator of Visionary Enterprises. Mr. Hornsby will be utilizing the capital to expand the printing studio to scale up operations and hire an employee. Tisha Davis, founder of Design Junkie Tees, was the recipient of the 2nd place Tisha’s prize winnings will allow her to hire a part-time employee to assist with sales to increase her pipeline. The 3rd Place was awarded to Luis Vargas, proud owner of V.C. Auto Detailing & Window. For Mr. Vargas this money will help him to rent a bigger space to be able to serve more customers.


LAEDA would like to thank Citizens Bank and all of the competition’s participants. LAEDA and LAEDA WBC look forward to bringing more opportunities like these to our alumni in the future.