Three teams win cash and in-kind prizes during business pitch contest


TALLAHASSEE, FL – CareerSource Capital Region hosted its Startup Quest® Investor Pitch Contest at Florida State University’s Turnbull Conference Center on Tuesday, November 15. During the event, seven teams and forty four participants competed for cash and in-kind prizes through the Startup Quest® program.

Startup Quest® trains people to become entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs. Through a 10-session training course led by experienced entrepreneurs and mentors, participants develop a go-to-market plan for a simulated company. Past participants say Startup Quest® is a “training experience of a lifetime.” The program made them more marketable to companies looking to hire professionals in all industries. Some participants launched their own companies and are already making a profit. There is no cost for the training program.

Since its inception, just over 325 career seekers have graduated from Startup Quest® in the Capital Region.  As a result, over 60 new businesses were launched in our community. Other graduates have gone on to pursue career opportunities at local businesses as intrapreneurs.

“Before Startup Quest®, I knew why I wanted to be an entrepreneur and where I wanted to be an entrepreneur. But, what Startup Quest® has given me is the what, when, and how of being an entrepreneur—to include developing a business plan, commercialization plan & understanding {target} markets. It has also given me networking and mentorship opportunities. My road to entrepreneurship success will now be quicker and smoother because of Startup Quest®.” – Leslie Warren, Startup Quest® Participant


Team Mobile Emergency Shelter System took home first place under the leadership of Inzlea Smith-McGlockton, CEO of Be Free for Good, LLC, and Ruth Beck, Owner of Beck Rehab Services. 




Team LIMBitless took home second place under the direction of Tiffany Graves and Tara O’Brien, co-founders of T3 Industries LLC. 




Team Lilypad came in third place under the direction of David Teek, Export Coordinator at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. 



All of this year’s winning teams were led to victory by former Startup Quest® graduates. Other mentors included Doug Martin from Gray Fox Strategies, Dr. David Olawale, PH.D., PHP, of Nanotechnology Patronas Group, Inc., Brian Ramos from The Pod Advertising, and Laura Reeves from Common Sense Practice, LLC. Alternate mentors included Vincent Edwards from MASSIVE Corporation USA, Inc., Eric Friall, from Aeson Group, Robert Streeter from the Family Encouragement Foundation, Inc. and LaTanya White from LaTanyaWhiteBiz – an entrepreneurship education platform.

This year’s judges included Sherwood Brown, CFP, Business Manager, First Commerce Credit Union; Dr. Fredrika J. Flakes, PH.D., Chief Executive Officer, Zoe Ventures, LLC; Dr. Lawrence Tinker, PH.D., Entrepreneur in Residence, Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research; Gina Kinchlow, Interim President, Big Bend Minority Chamber of Commerce; and Ben Graybar, Commercial Banker VP, Hancock Bank.

This event is a part of Entrepreneurship Month (E-Month) in collaboration with the Tallahassee-Leon Office of Economic Vitality.

To view or download photos from this event click here. For additional interview or press inquiries regarding CareerSource Capital Region or the Startup Quest® program please contact Ruthann Campbell at (850) 617-4554.


November 16, 2016


Selena Coles
Office (850) 617-4554, Cell (850) 508-1698


About CareerSource Capital Region

CareerSource Capital Region connects employers with qualified, skilled talent and Floridians with employment and career development opportunities to achieve economic prosperity in Gadsden, Leon and Wakulla counties. Solutions for career seekers include one-on-one career advising, interviewing and resume-writing assistance, employment workshops, and labor market information. Solutions for employers include recruitment assistance, skills assessments for applicants, customized training, and information on tax incentives. Employers and career seekers are matched through the Employ Florida Marketplace system. All solutions are provided at no cost. Programs funded through CareerSource Capital Region are equal opportunity programs with auxiliary aids and services available upon request to individuals with disabilities. Persons using TTY/TTD equipment use Florida Relay Service 711. A proud partner of the American Job Center network.