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Tampa Bay Area non-profits to compete in Shark Tank-style event

Social Venture Partners to give out $60,000
Posted at 4:38 PM, Nov 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-30 18:58:23-05

TAMPA, Fla. — Twelve Tampa Bay Area non-profit organizations will vie in a high-stakes competition for $60,000 in prize money to support their non-profit in front of a live audience. 

The event is put on by Social Venture Partners (SVP) which aims to teach the non-profits how to be more resilient; the idea is not just to throw money at the problem, but coach and guide the non-profits, teaching them real business skills, like organization, marketing, management, and budgeting so that they can continue to thrive and strengthen our community. 

Like the hit ABC show, the Shark Tank-style event is designed to be high-energy, fast-moving, quick-fire presentations where entrepreneurs share the mission, vision, promise and model for their organization — all under three minutes. While this is Tampa Bay’s first "Fast Pitch" event, Social Venture Partners has had success in other cities like Seattle, Calgary, Sacramento, and Boston.

The first “Fast Pitch” in Tampa is already sold out!

It is Friday, Dec. 1, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. at The University of Tampa’s Fletcher Lounge in Plant Hall.

Among the non-profit organizations competing is Starting Right, Now which helps homeless teens, who are not in the foster care system, with housing, food, and mentorship with life skills.

“To be honest I was really skeptical about it because I never really took help from anybody,” Miguel Venture tells ABC Action News. 

Ventura says that, thanks to Starting Right, Now he is a college student in a stable environment working towards a business degree.

RELATED: Beating the Odds: Homeless teen becomes USF freshman and Student Government leader

Ventura is one of dozens of kids being helped in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties by the privately-funded organization.