Roughin' It Rv & Cycle Wins Key4Women and SCORE Cleveland Women-Owned Business Pitch Contest

Oct 12, 2021 10:00 AM ET
KeyBank Winners of Key4Women contest with SCORE Cleveland.

KeyBank’s Key4Women program and SCORE Cleveland today announced that local business Roughin’ It RV & Cycle is the winner of a business pitch contest for women-owned businesses located in Northeast Ohio. The event was held Thursday October 7th at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland. A recording of the event is available here.

Owner Ashley Starr won the grand prize of $10,000, which will go toward helping bring a new facility online, revitalizing an existing building in Lake County Ohio.

“This win is an amazing honor for me and my company,” said Starr. “This will go directly towards our new building, getting it up and running. This will be put to very good use and will help a lot of people in my community and especially my company.”

Roughin’ It RV & Cycle was one of 10 finalists that were selected to compete for cash awards totaling $22,000 from a pool of 243 applicants. All were judged by a panel of SCORE representatives in one of two categories, start-up business or existing business. Other winners include:

“Having the opportunity to work with KeyBank, Key4Women and all of the participants in this competition has been rewarding and valuable,” said Robert Cohen, Chairman and Certified Small Business Mentor at SCORE Cleveland. “We congratulate Roughin’ It RV & Cycle and thank all who took part in this event, which was a valuable resource and networking opportunity for small business owners and entrepreneurs in our community.”

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

“We congratulate Ashley Starr and her team at Roughin’ It RV & Cycle on winning the grand prize of the Key4Women and SCORE Cleveland Pitch Contest. Their pitch was inspiring, and we are so glad to help them grow and expand,” 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 to helping entrepreneurs across Northeast Ohio 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 presented a 4-minute pitch and fielded questions for six minutes on October 7th at Cuyahoga Community College, where the event was livestreamed from.

Final awards were chosen by a panel of five judges, which included:

  • Renee Singleton – President & CEO – Singleton Partners
  • Gabrielle Christman – President & CEO – Hunter International Recruiting
  • Anne Skotch – Founder & CEO – Anne Café
  • Sara Gifford – KeyBank Area Retail Leader
  • Timothy Burke – KeyBank Northeast Ohio Market President

Criteria used to determine winners included the quality of the presentation, clarity of business vision and mission, economic impact of the idea and the soundness of value proposition.