Two Oceana business owners selected as Pitch North finalists

August 1, 2023

Two Oceana business owners selected as Pitch North finalists

Five area entrepreneurs to pitch business ideas for chance at $5,000

NEWAYGO COUNTY — Two Oceana County business owners are among five rural entrepreneurs that have been selected to pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges during the fifth annual Pitch North competition.

Brian Woods, owner of Big Skinny’s in Hesperia, and Noble Graham-Lattin, owner of Birch & Blossom LLC in Hart, are among the five finalists.

Pitch North is the region’s first-of-its-kind entrepreneurial pitching competition where entrepreneurs living in Oceana, Lake and Newaygo and counties can pitch their ideas for a chance at one of five cash prizes. The competition has awarded over $55,000 in cash to date as a collaborative effort to foster entrepreneurism in the rural three-county region.

The 2023 finalists, selected from a pool of 26 total submissions, will compete for the chance to win their share of more than $11,000 in cash and prizes to bring their ideas to life. The other three finalists are: Ashley Agler, Mindful Trout LLC in Lake County; Yatziry Ortega, Mi Tierra Mexico in Newaygo County; and Jackie Dickinson, Straight Path Farms, LLC in Newaygo County

Each finalist will be given five minutes to present their business idea and then answer judges’ questions during a live event Aug. 16 from 4-6 p.m. at Lakes 23 Pavilion in Fremont. Those wishing to support the finalists may attend the live event for free by registering online at by Aug. 15.

Pitch North is hosted annually by The Right Place, Inc. in partnership with economic development alliances in Lake, Newaygo and Oceana counties and is made possible by these sponsors: Consumers Energy, Lake Osceola State Bank, Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial, City of Fremont DDA, City of Newaygo TIFA, DTE Energy, Fremont Area Chamber of Commerce, Fremont Area Community Foundation, Hart-Silver Lake Sand Dunes Area Chamber of Commerce, Horizon Bank, ITC, River Country Chamber of Commerce, SCORE of Muskegon, Shelby State Bank, West Shore Community College, Dave Byrne Law Office, Northern Initiatives and Muskegon Community College.

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