HarborOne Bank to host “Shark Tank” competition for area entrepreneurs

Southeastern Massachusetts will have its own version of “Shark Tank” next month when HarborOne Bank holds its first small business “Pitch Contest.”

On May 3, eight entrepreneurs will audition to pitch their potential business plans to three judges, competing for a $2,500 grant to help grow and develop a business. Two runner-ups will each receive a $1,000 prize in the competition, modeled after the ABC reality television show “Shark Tank.”

The event is part of National Small Business Week and bank officials will also be presenting its annual HUey Awards honoring the “Champions” of HarborOne U, the bank’s community education center that offers free financial literacy and small business courses at locations in Brockton and Mansfield.

“Throughout its history, HarborOne Bank has been a proud supporter of growing small businesses and building economic development in our region,” said James W. Blake, President  & CEO of HarborOne Bank. “Every successful business starts as a great idea. We’re looking forward to hearing some exciting pitches from energetic entrepreneurs who are hoping to grow and develop strong businesses.”

The small business pitch contest is designed to provide an opportunity for area entrepreneurs to present their business plans and ideas in a constructive, fun and friendly forum. Each applicant will have five minutes to present a business plan and growth strategy. Participants will be judged on presentation, marketing and sales strategy, and overall business management. Judges will then select four finalists to present a two-minute pitch on what you would do with the prize money and what it would mean to your business before picking a winner.

The review team includes qualified experts from the areas of banking, government and academia. The review team initially received 35 qualified applications, winnowing the field of entrepreneurs to eight.
“Supporting small business is an important part of the HarborOne U mission and we’re looking forward to working with our region’s most creative entrepreneurs as part of National Small Business Week,” said Maureen Wilkinson, Vice President Community Education, Director of HarborOne U and CRA Officer.

HarborOne Bank’s Small Business Pitch Contest will start at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 3 at HarborOne U, 131 Copeland Drive in Mansfield. Pre-registration is required. Please visit https://www.harborone.com/pitch to register.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
About HarborOne Bank
With $2 billion in assets, HarborOne Bank is the largest co-operative bank in New England. HarborOne serves the financial needs of consumers, businesses, and municipalities throughout southeastern Massachusetts through its network of 14 full-service branches, two limited service branches, a commercial loan office in Providence, Rhode Island, a residential lending office in Westford, Massachusetts, and 13 free-standing ATMs. The Bank also provides a range of educational services through “HarborOne U,” with classes on small business, financial literacy and personal enrichment at two campuses located adjacent to its Brockton and Mansfield locations. HarborOne is the parent company of Merrimack Mortgage, LLC, a full-service mortgage lender with 34 offices in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Maine, and also does business in five additional states.