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Cleveland Chain Reaction: 20 Semi-Finalists Pitch Their Case To Win


Twenty small business owners and start-up entrepreneurs pitched cookies and podcasts and beer and plants and second-hand appliances and even transformable backpacks at the 2022 Cleveland Chain Reaction pitch days on December 8 and 9 at the Greater Cleveland Partnership offices. 

The competition’s 20 semi-finalists completed a business bootcamp hosted by JumpStart prior to pitching their business to a panel of judges consisting of partners and supporters from Bedrock, GCP/COSE, KeyBank, JumpStart and MAGNET, along with partners in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.  

The semi-finalists are vying for prizes that include $40,000 for first place, $20,000 for second place and $10,000 for third place. The winners will be announced Friday, December 16, at Tower City, and the public can watch live during “Kickin’ it with Kenny” on FOX 8 News in the Morning. 

“At GCP and COSE we want to highlight interesting entrepreneurs and small businesses just getting started in our community. Chain Reaction is a way to do that,” said Greater Cleveland Partnership President and CEO Baiju Shah. 

Live Shots from Pitch Day!

Fuego Fermentations LLC

Ken Wilson, senior manager, minority business growth at GCP, brought personal entrepreneurship experience to the judging process.  

“As a small-business owner who built a business from nothing into a thriving business for 25 years, I have the utmost respect for all of the entrepreneurs participating in the Cleveland Chain Reaction pitch competition,” he said. “I’d be honored to work for any of these innovative business leaders.” 

 The 20 semi-finalists are (in alphabetical order):  

  • Cleveland Flower Walls
  • Cure Nail Gallery
  • Ellie-May’s Gourmet Cookies
  • Evergreen Podcasts
  • Fedora Food
  • Fuego Fermentations LLC
  • He Loves Curves Boutique LLC
  • Hunny Bunny’s Confections
  • KAZ Radio TV Network
  • Micah Specialty Foods
  • Professional Inspiration
  • Recreational Pots and Plants
  • Scoot! Coffee
  • Spa Lavender
  • Terranean Herbs & Spices
  • The Cleveland Brew Shop
  • The House Hotels
  • The Plug Appliances
  • The Sweet Fix Bakery

Cleveland Chain Reaction connects entrepreneurs to capital and mentors and places new businesses in Cleveland neighborhoods to create jobs and prosperity. Since its inception in 2017 (the competition was put on hold in 2020 due to the pandemic), Cleveland Chain Reaction has received more than 476 applications, coached and prepared 108 small business semi-finalists and connected winning businesses to nearly $1.7 million in capital.  

Cleveland Chain Reaction was inspired by Cleveland Hustlesthe reality series produced by LeBron James that aired on CNBC in 2016. Cleveland Chain Reaction is an independent and unrelated effort that supports the continued opportunity that Cleveland Hustles initiated.  

Cleveland Chain Reaction is produced by GCP and COSE in collaboration with FOX 8 News in the Morning’s “Kickin’ it with Kenny.” FreshWater Cleveland is the competition’s digital publication partner. Cleveland Chain Reaction is sponsored by MAGNET, Bedrock, KeyBank and JumpStart. 

Visit for more information. 


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