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The UPS Store Small Business Blog
  • 16 July 2018
  • Jenny Robinson

Meet our Small Biz Salute Pitch Off finalists

We are excited to announce the three entrepreneurs chosen by popular vote as finalists in our Small Biz Salute Pitch Off contest. In this national competition, one small business owner will walk away with $25,000 and an editorial feature in upcoming issue of Inc. Magazine.

These three finalists, who all happen to be female small business owners, are just one live pitch away from becoming the winner of the Small Biz Salute Pitch Off and obtaining this important financial support for their business. Keitha Dendy of League City, Texas, Megan Eddings of Houston, Texas and Bryanne Leeming of Boston, Massachusetts will compete at the Small Biz Salute Pitch Off event presented by The UPS Store and Inc. Magazine on August 8 in Detroit, Michigan. The grand prize winner will be announced at the event, which is free and open to the public.

According to the recent Inside Small Business Survey conducted by The UPS Store, Inc., a survey that evaluated the state of small business in the U.S., 52 percent of respondents said they believed it would take $25,000 or less to help start or grow a small business. Survey respondents also said the main motivators behind opening a small business in 2018 are being their own boss (38 percent), having a strong belief in the power of their own idea (17 percent) and creating their next career path (15 percent).

At the Pitch Off event, each finalist will have the chance to make an impression in front of a live audience and judging panel including Bravo TV host Tabatha Coffey, five time tech entrepreneur Josh Linkner, former NFL linebacker Dhani Jones, and Inc. Magazine executive editor Jon Fine. Each contestant will present their business idea and answer questions from the judges and event attendees.

After more than 2,000 individuals responded to a nationwide call for online pitch submissions, thousands voted online to narrow a field of 10 semi-finalists to the top 3 finalists, each with a unique small business story. Here’s more about each finalist:

  • Megan Eddings, Accel Lifestyle – Houston, TX: Designed by a creative chemist, Accel Lifestyle makes ethical active wear designed with patent-pending antimicrobial fabric, which is sourced and made in the United States. Eddings would use the awarded cash for marketing and product development.
  • Keitha Dendy, Home Made Luxe – League City, TX: Founded by a busy mother of twins, Home Made Luxe is a subscription box service that delivers craft kits for home décor projects. Through craft kits and craft nights, Dendy strives to provide women opportunities for self-care. The prize earnings would fund Home Made Luxe’s marketing and communications efforts.
  • Bryanne Leeming, Unruly Splats – Boston, MA: Unruly Splats blends physical exercise and STEM education with its programmable light-up buttons. Leeming, a college athlete and STEM enthusiast, wants to inspire children to be creative and healthy. The prize money would help the business ship units to customers and develop hands-on curriculum for use with the product.
2018 Small Biz Salute Pitch Off contest finalists
Small Biz Salute Pitch Off Finalists: Megan Eddings of Accel Lifestyle, Keitha Dendy of Home Made Luxe, and Bryanne Leeming of Unruly Splats

The UPS Store, Inc. and Inc. Magazine invite local entrepreneurs, business leaders and other guests to the historic Gem Theatre in downtown Detroit from 5-9 pm on August 8 for the live Pitch Off event. Each finalist will have just 3 minutes to make their pitch and answer questions. Additionally, there will be energetic networking receptions, a live Q&A with the four judges and fun opportunities for giveaways for guests. There will also be food and drink available and event entrance is free.

The UPS Store would like to extend congratulations to Keitha, Megan and Bryanne, three amazing small business owners. Good luck!

To learn more about the Small Biz Salute Pitch Off, visit

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