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And the Pitch Night's Start-Up Event Grant Recipients Are...

Release Date: January 15, 2020

Media Contact: Karli McElroy
Rochester Downtown Alliance
Direct: (507) 216-9882



Downtown Event Organizers Need Public Support at Pitch Competition January 14

ROCHESTER, Minn.—A total of $11,000 was given away in Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) Start-Up Event Grant Funds to event organizers with downtown event ideas. 

Nine event organizers pitched their ideas in a shark-tank style pitch competition to a panel of judges made up of the RDA’s Downtown Cultural Initiative (DCI) Committee members and guest judge John Sievers. Receiving Start-Up Event Grant funds are the following organizations/individuals:

  • $3,000: Friends of the Rochester Farmers Market’s Harvest Dinner 

  • $3,000: Agency Swell’s Up-Beat Burrito Festival 

  • $2,150: Rochester THAW 

  • $850: Ben Gateno with in-kind support also pledged from Half Barrel and Café Steam 

  • $500: Downtown Neighborhood Association’s Live Downtown Tour 

  • $500: Greater Rochester Arts & Cultural Trust’s Park the Arts 

A People’s Choice Award was voted on by attendees to receive a $500 grant. A two-way tie between ROCKchester and Friends of the Rochester Farmers Market’s Harvest Dinner resulted in each receiving a $500 grant from the RDA. In addition, Majestic Events generously provided $250 in-kind support to each People’s Choice Award winners. 

“Each event was pitched with passion and demonstrated each organizer’s desire in helping make downtown vibrant and fun” said Karli McElroy, RDA senior director of placemaking. “We look forward to seeing these great events in downtown in 2020.” 


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.