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All 10 Start-Up Event Grant presentations funded at Pitch Night

Release Date: January 12, 2023

Media Contact: Katie Adelman
Rochester Downtown Alliance
Office: 507-216-9886



All 10 Start-Up Event Grant presentations funded at Pitch Night

ROCHESTER, Minn.—More than $25,000 was awarded to community event, activity, or program organizers at the Rochester Downtown Alliance’s Start-Up Event Grant Pitch Night Wednesday.

Ten community organizers presented their ideas in a shark-tank style pitch competition to a panel of judges that included Tiffany Alexandria of Choo-Choo-ca-Chew (and a past Start-Up Event Grant recipient), Amber Bojji of Chez Bojji, Will Forsman of Café Steam and RDA board of director, Danielle Teal of Mayo Clinic, and D’Angelo Tines of Popus Gourmet Popcorn.

Receiving Start-Up Event Grant funds are the following organizations/people for the below award amounts:

  • $5,000: The Rochester Thaw Music Festival by My Town My Music
  • $4,000: UTSAV by Indian Cultural Association of Minnesota
  • $4,000: Family Fun Day: Sensory Sensitive Saturday by Autism Resource Guide
  • $3,500: Celebrating East African Culture by Pamoja Women
  • $3,000: Rochester Battle of the Bands by Treedome
  • $2,750: YMCA Sound Bowl Meditation by Rochester YMCA
  • $1,500: Broadway Nurse: A Musical Reading by Sam Buchl
  • $1,500: Families in Motion by the Rochester Art Center
  • $1,500: Art Battle Minnesota by Crayon Kelly
  • $1,000: Songwriters in the Round by Pat Egan Music

“I think everyone who watched the pitches left inspired by the creativity and vision of our grant recipients. We can’t wait to see these ideas come to life throughout 2023,” said Holly Masek, RDA executive director.

As a last-minute surprise contribution, Destination Medical Center allocated an additional $2,750, bringing their total in Start-Up Event Grant funds to $12,750. In all, $28,750 in Start-Up Event Grant funds from the RDA and DMC were awarded at Pitch Night.

While it was first introduced in 2020 as part of that year’s grant, Pitch Night returned as part of the 2023 Start-Up Event Grant cycle to encourage community engagement. As in 2020, a People’s Choice Award was voted on by attendees to receive additional funding, which went to not one but two pitches this year. The Rochester Thaw Music Festival and Rochester Battle of the Bands were the recognized recipients of an additional $500 each.

Look for the Start-Up Event Grant-awarded events, activities, and programs in downtown throughout the 2023 calendar year.

About the Rochester Downtown Alliance
The Rochester Downtown Alliance is a nonprofit corporation comprised of a broad range of people representing property owners, business leaders, the city and others with a direct stake in enhanced business and economic development conditions in the downtown district. We work together to build a vibrant downtown community. We believe a strong core positively impacts the greater city of Rochester. Through a series of special events, activities, and initiatives, we create energy, excitement, and a unique character to Downtown Rochester, Minnesota.