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Catalyst Pitch Competition Announces 2024 Winners - $20,000 of Prizes Awarded

Columbus, IN – June 16, 2024 – Catalyst Columbus announces its 2024 winners of the Catalyst Pitch Competition, held at the Columbus Learning Center on June 15. The event, designed to foster regional entrepreneurship, saw impressive pitches from 20 innovative startups and awarded $20,000 in prize money to various Bartholomew and Jackson County entrepreneurs.
The first-place prize of $7,500 was awarded to two exceptional businesses: CayPops Bakery, founded by recent Columbus North High School graduate Caylyn Pruitt, and Tiny Kindness, led by Rachel Hunt. Both ventures showcased outstanding potential and creativity, earning them top honors.
The third-place prize of $3,000 went to Eric Silver for his innovative company, Pendulum. Tyler Short secured the fourth-place position with Sitka Nursery, receiving $2,000. Stephanie Strothmann rounded out the winners, earning $1,000 for Purple Shamrock Farm.
The competition was judged by a panel of esteemed professionals, including Brian Riley, CEO at Guardian Bikes; Maria Wilkins, Technical Advisor at Cummins; and Lena Blackstock, Partner at Process/Practice Studio. Their expertise and insights were invaluable in evaluating promising startups.
The Catalyst Pitch Competition was made possible through the generous support of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Duke Energy, the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce, and Catalyst Columbus.
Catalyst is dedicated to empowering startups, entrepreneurs, and dreamers. It provides access to resources, expert coaching, and valuable support from like-minded founders. It is supported by the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce, the City of Columbus, and the Heritage Fund of Bartholomew County.

Dan Nash, Director of Entrepreneurship
Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce