Key4Women and SCORE announce women-owned business pitch contest finalists

10 Northeast Ohio start-up and existing women-owned businesses will compete for $22,000 in awards

CLEVELAND, Sept. 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — KeyBank’s (NYSE: KEY) Key4Women program and SCORE Cleveland today announced 10 finalists have been selected to compete in a business pitch contest for women-owned businesses (WOBs) located in Northeast Ohio.

Selected from a pool of 243 applicants and judged by a panel of SCORE representatives, the finalists will compete in one of two categories, start-up business or existing business, with cash awards totaling $22,000. The grand prize winner will earn $10,000. Finalists include:

  • RooSense (Start-Up)
  • Dirty Laundry (Start-Up)
  • Diva de la Crème (Start-Up)
  • All Trades Tax Services (Start-Up)
  • The DREMR Company (Start-Up)
  • Emerald Direct Primary Care (Existing)
  • Carmels Executive Car Service (Existing)
  • Back Development (Existing)
  • Roughin It (Existing)
  • Active For Life (Existing)

“The SCORE Chapters of Northeast Ohio are proud to be working with women-owned small businesses across the region and are amazed by the quality and strength of the applications we received,” said Bob Cohen, Chairman, Cleveland Chapter, SCORE. “SCORE and Key4Women share a common mission of helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve success through education and mentorship. This contest offers two critical supports for participants: mentorship and capital.”

SCORE provided application support and mentorship to women-owned businesses throughout the application process. SCORE will also provide workshops and mentoring to the finalists to help them prepare their pitches.

“SCORE is such a valuable partner,” said Rachael Sampson, chair, Key4Women. “Women business owners and leaders positively impact our economy and communities in powerful ways every day, which is evident based on the strength and diversity of the applications we received. Key4Women and SCORE are committed and willing to help all those who submitted applications, finalists or not, achieve their visions and grow their businesses into thriving ventures.”

To be eligible, businesses were required to be 51 percent owned, controlled, operated and managed by a woman or women. They must also be headquartered in Ashtabula, Carroll, Cuyahoga, Erie, Geauga, Harrison, Holmes, Huron, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit, Tuscarawas or Wayne counties.

The finalists will present a 4-minute pitch and field questions for 6 minutes on October 7 at Cuyahoga Community College. The event, which is not open to the public, will be livestreamed by Cuyahoga Community College.

Final awards will be chosen by a panel of five judges, which will include 3 local women business owners and two KeyBank bankers. Criteria used to determine winners include the quality of the presentation, clarity of business vision and mission, economic impact of the idea and the soundness of value proposition.

Since 1964, SCORE has helped 11 million entrepreneurs to start or grow a business. SCORE’s 10,000 volunteers provide free mentoring, workshops and educational services to 1,500+ communities nationwide, creating 45,027 new businesses and 74,535 non-owner jobs in 2020 alone. Visit SCORE at Follow @SCOREMentors on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Key4Women started in 2005 as a campaign to lend $1 billion to qualified women-owned businesses within three years. The program achieved that in two years and has now generated more than $12 billion in loans to women-owned businesses. Membership in Key4Women is free. In addition to helping women business leaders and owners tap into capital to build and grow their businesses, Key4Women members gain valuable access to a team of local Certified Key4Women Advisors who advocate, connect and empower women on their journey to financial wellness. For more information, visit