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Last updateSat, 21 Sep 2019 12am







    Saturday, September 21, 2019-2:38:24P.M.






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Grant opportunity for new and aspiring small-business owners

(Press Release) — The Saipan Chamber of Commerce, with the support of the CNMI Small Business Development Center, is proud to present “Pitchfest.”

This event is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to share their innovative ideas with a panel of judges and an audience for a chance to win seed money that could help grow or launch a small business. This opportunity is open to anyone interested in starting a small business or those who have started a small business from January 2018 to the present day.

Part of the mission of the Saipan Chamber of Commerce is to create a culture that supports business development and small business owners in the CNMI. Through “Pitchfest,” the chamber aims to provide flexible grant opportunities for new and aspiring small business owners.

This year’s theme is “Giving Wings to Ideas.” The chamber believes that the CNMI is home to some of the most resourceful, creative, and resilient people. A major deterrent for any aspiring small business owner is access to capital. In order to bridge that gap, the chamber hopes to provide a unique opportunity for the community. “We are excited to launch this new program under the chamber. Small businesses are the backbone of our community, and when they succeed, our community succeeds. Everyone knows someone with a great business idea or a strong passion or a talent, that’s who we’re looking for,” stated chamber president Velma M. Palacios.

The Pitchfest process is simple:

1) All applications will be reviewed and applicants will be scheduled for an interview with our panel of judges.

2) Finalists will be selected then given event tickets to sell. A percentage of the ticket sales will go towards the money pot for the winner.

3) Finalists will have the opportunity to pitch in front of judges and a live audience and the winner will be awarded with cash prize upon submission of valid business license.

Finalists will enjoy networking opportunities with other entrepreneurs and will be able to showcase their business idea in front of hundreds of people including business owners and potential investors in the CNMI. The 2019 Pitchfest winner will receive $2,000 or more in seed money to start or grow your business, free chamber membership under the start-up package ($300 value), free Saipan Young Professionals membership for one year ($50 value), recognition plaque/trophy, and a sponsored gift bag from community sponsors ($100 value).

Applications must be submitted on or before 5 p.m. on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 to the Saipan Chamber of Commerce office on the 3rd floor of the Marianas Business Plaza, Suite #315. Application packets can be picked up at the chamber office or viewed online at To register or for more information, call Mercilynn Kaneshi Palec at 234-7150 or email