RIT’s Pull Up & ROC the Pitch awards grand prize to EXP Studio

Community incubator space wins $1,500 to help gain exposure, boost revenue

Supplied Image

EXP Studio won the Pull Up & ROC the Pitch competition, hosted by RIT’s Center for Urban Entrepreneurship. Pictured here, from left to right, are business owners Jamal Henderson, Alexis Russell, and Antwan Russell.

The speedy “elevator pitch” has become an essential component of selling one’s business idea to potential investors. RIT’s Center for Urban Entrepreneurship recently gave local entrepreneurs the opportunity to compete—in five minutes or less—for the grand prize in the Pull Up & ROC the Pitch competition.

Winning the $1,500 grand prize was EXP Studio, a Rochester-based innovation incubator, multimedia production studio, agency, and learning center that allows users to access industry-standard resources to help users build out their passions, hobbies, businesses, and more. Company owners are Antwan Russell ’14 (new media design), Jamal Henderson ’14 (electrical engineering), and Alexis Russell.

In addition to the cash prize, EXP Studio will be able to connect with a professional videographer to create content for the business.

Pitch requirements included a business plan and proof of revenue.

“RIT’s Center for Urban Entrepreneurship operates with the goal of offering opportunities to new business owners that provide knowledge, experience, exposure, and value,” said Ebony Miller-Wesley, center director. “Our highly successful Pull Up & ROC the Pitch competition is a catalyst for local entrepreneurs to hone their pitching skills and have the chance to walk away with funding to help grow their businesses. The fast pace of this competition not only helps business owners with their elevator pitches, it is an energizing experience for everyone involved.”

The Pull Up & ROC the Pitch competition, sponsored by RIT, ESL Federal Credit Union, and KeyBank, was held Jan. 25 at Urban Euphoria. The event is a micro-version of the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship’s annual ROC the Pitch competition. Urban Euphoria won the center’s ROC the Pitch competition—and $25,000—in 2022.

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