3 Pitch Competition Winners’ Logos Will Be Featured on Colin’s Car

11/11 Veteran Project has announced three pitch competition winners from the Iowa Veterans Entrepreneurship Conference that took place at Iowa State University on June 2, 2023.

Although they had planned to select one winner, Garrett explained that “we had so many great pitches, we decided to award three winners rather than just one. I’m excited to partner with these entrepreneurs to help take their business to the next level while they help spread awareness of the worthy nonprofits that 11/11 Veteran Project promotes.”

Veteran Owned winners are:

First Place, $10,000: HUDU, pitched by Derreck Stratton
Second Place, $2,500: Sensiil Studios, pitched by Aniekanabasi White
Third Place: $1,000: Young G’s Barbecue Sauce, pitched by Gerald Young
(see photos below)

Winners were awarded something most small businesses would never dream of: having their logo in a spot on Garrett’s car for one of his race weekends. The prize value is much more than monetary as each winner will also receive promotional photos and videos from the race for their own marketing use. This evergreen content can be used indefinitely in their business.

11/11 Veteran Project’s pitch competitions put a twist on the typical entrepreneur pitch competition: presenters need to explain not only how winning will help their business, but also how they can be a great strategic partner to 11/11 Veteran Project.

Garrett says 11/11 takes this approach because “we’re not out to reinvent the wheel. We shine a light on the many existing resources that are already available to help veterans and military families live a happy, healthy life. Since strategic partners are so important to our approach, our pitch competitions are aimed at selecting businesses that can help us reach even more of the military community while we help amplify the winners’ brands.”

The competition was judged by Colin’s father Ryan Garrett, 11/11 Veteran Project Strategic Partnerships Director Lisa Kipps-Brown, and Joy Briscoe, Managing Partner of Top RANK Talent Solutions.

Ryan Garrett said, “strategic partnerships are important to businesses of any size and we see this pitch format as an opportunity to help all competitors understand that value. The format encourages entrepreneurs to think more strategically about how they can partner with other businesses and organizations for shared success.”

Supporting the military community is personal to Colin Garrett: both of his brothers are service members. He founded 11/11 Veteran Project to use his national platform as a professional race car driver to promote access to resources that will help veterans and military families live the life they deserve.

Past Veteran Owned small businesses have been able to leverage a spot on Colin’s car to reach enviable goals.

Body Water LLC, founded by service disabled Army veteran Sherman Williams, has used it to help get their Body Aqua products in chains like Winn Dixie. Veterans Growing America, founded by retired Army Command Sergeant Major Donnell Johns, was able to score a storefront in a premier location in Northern Virginia adjacent to Apple and Starbucks.