Click here for important branch news.

Rhode Island Pitch Contest

Local Entrepreneurs Win Business Start-Up and Expansion Funds in HarborOne Bank’s First Annual Rhode Island Small Business Pitch Contest
Pictured L to R: Stephen Gibbons, Regional VP Commercial Lending, HarborOne Bank; Nicholas DelGuidice, General Manager & Creative Director, Providence Media; Azure Cygler, owner of Rhody Wild Sea Gardens; Sandra McNamara, Business Advisor and Marketing Consultant; Phillip Kydd, Business Consultant and Advisor, The Gemini Group and Vice Chair of the HarborOne Foundation RI

(Providence, RI) – September 30, 2021 – HarborOne awarded $17,500 to four small business entrepreneurs as part of their first annual Rhode Island Small Business “Pitch Contest,” hosted at the Bank’s Providence branch location in collaboration with Providence Media. On September 28, eight entrepreneurs were selected from a pool of twenty applicants to present their business plan to four judges in a competition for a $10,000 first place prize to help develop and grow their business.

First place and the $10,000 prize went to Azure Cygler, owner of Rhody Wild Sea Gardens in Narragansett. She is a sea gardener who is growing kelp for climate change. Kelp is good for the earth and now's the time to bring the benefits of kelp into the spotlight and share them with the world.

Additionally, three entrepreneurs received $2,500 each: Kemi Asani, Afrobeat Fit, LLC in Providence; Sean Maloney, 13 Stars Hot Sauce in Cranston; and Victor Regino, Luis Olmo and Travis Escobar, Papi’s Cojito in Pawtucket.

“We had a number of extraordinary small business owners participate in our first ever Rhode Island Pitch Contest,” said Stephen Gibbons, Regional VP, Commercial Lending, HarborOne Bank. “It is rewarding to recognize and have the ability to support these small business owners who are making positive contributions to our communities.”

The socially-distanced event was held at HarborOne Bank’s Providence location. The small business pitch contest is designed to provide the opportunity for area entrepreneurs to present their business plans and ideas in a constructive, fun and friendly forum. Each applicant had five minutes to present a business plan and growth strategy. Participants were judged on presentation, marketing and sales strategy and financials.

This year’s judges were Stephen Gibbons; Phillip Kydd, Business Consultant and Advisor at The Gemini Group and Vice Chair of the HarborOne Foundation RI; Sandra McNamara, Business Advisor and Marketing Consultant; and Nicholas DelGuidice, General Manager & Creative Director at Providence Media.

About HarborOne Bank
HarborOne Bank, headquartered in Massachusetts, has $4.61 billion in assets. It serves the financial needs of consumers, businesses, and municipalities throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island through a network of 26 full-service branches, one limited service branch, and commercial loan offices in Providence and Boston. HarborOne has been included in Forbes’ Best in State Banks list for three consecutive years and Globe’s Best Places to Work in 10 of the last 11 years.

The Bank also provides a range of educational services through “HarborOne U,” with classes on small business, financial and personal enrichment HarborOne Mortgage, LLC, a subsidiary of HarborOne Bank, is a full-service mortgage lender with more than 30 offices in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine, New Jersey, Florida and is also licensed to lend in four additional states. NMLS ID: 2561. Licensed by the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance. Rhode Island Licensed Lender. Equal Housing Opportunity.

/About Us/News/2021/Rhode Island Pitch Contest

Connect With Us

Corporate Office (No ATM or Branch available)
HarborOne Bank - Corporate Office
770 Oak St. Brockton, MA 02301

Email Customer Service Center
Call Customer Service Center (800) 244-7592
Chat with Customer Service

Find a Branch or ATM Schedule an Appointment