GLEN RIDGE, NJ - A local business was recenty awarded $15,000 during a pitch contest.

On August 1st, at Liberty Prime Steakhouse in Jersey City, Rising Tide Capital (RTC) hosted the
finale of “RISE: The Challenge” (formerly known as The Start Something Challenge), an annual
business pitch competition where RTC entrepreneurs compete for business grants.

This year, Glen Ridge resident Dominique Anderson, founder of Amazing Strides, won the top prize of $15,000.
Amazing Strides provides inclusive community-based services and supports to individuals with
various disabilities.

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The 4 finalists were also each awarded $5,000:
• Community: Hilda Mera, S & A Auto Repair, Newark
• Sustainability: Andres Diaz, ECO-LED House Numbers, Carteret
• Expression: Eugene Barnes, Woke Empowerment, Jersey City
• Food: Jesse Mcbride, Mademeals, Weehawken

In addition to the pitch competition, the evening featured a conversation between Hester Agudosi, Chief Diversity Officer in the Office of Governor Phil Murphy, and the 2016 Challenge winner Denise Woodard, Founder of Partake Foods, who recently received a $1 million investment from Marcy Venture Partners, an investment fund in which renowned hip hop artist JAY-Z is a partner.

“This is a full circle moment for me. 3 years ago when I entered RISE: The Challenge, I had just started my business, Partake Foods, because of the difficulties that I faced in finding healthy allergy-friendly food products for my daughter, Vivienne, who has severe food allergies. I was struggling to secure the funding that I needed to produce my first major line of products. What I found in RISE: The Challenge was more than just an opportunity for funding. Through the
competition, Rising Tide Capital provided me with crucial training and mentoring on promoting and building my business. I am enormously appreciative of Alfa Demmellash and the Rising Tide Capital team for the role they played in my entrepreneurial journey,” stated Denise Woodard, Founder of Partake Foods.