Kirkwood Community College’s Linn County Regional Center, in Hiawatha, Iowa, was the home of the Hy-vee business summit, which put minorities and women front and center. The name of the summit was Hy-Vee OpportUNITY Inclusive Business Summit. Notice UNITY in all caps? That's something everyone should be working towards.

CBS2 Iowa reports the business summit featured a business expo, group workshops, and keynote presentations. This was a chance for local minorities and women to pitch their ideas, businesses, and services, in a local competition.

How awesome of an opportunity is this? What a great chance for minorities and women to get their names and brands out to the public. The pitch competition reminds me of something straight out of Shark Tank. Talk about nerve-racking. Just practicing my best man speech at my friend's wedding last summer made me nervous.

There were 3 winners selected, who received up to $25,000, $15,000, and $10,000, as an investment according to CBS2 Iowa.

The overall pitch competition winner was Gnarly Pepper, from Cedar Rapids. Their specialty is their custom spice blends that pair with ANY brand of non-fat plain Greek yogurt or full-fat plain Greek yogurt, according to their website.

LuLit's Hair Essence from Evansdale, Iowa, took the 2nd place prize of $15,000. LuLit's Hair Essense specializes in hair products that you need/want to strengthen and stimulate hair growth.

Variegate, from Iowa City, Iowa took home the 3rd place prize of $10,000.

Other than the 3 winners, there was 7 other business that participated in the competition. 5 Borough Bagels, BOCS DSM, Crazy Goat Soap, DogCuterie, eat G.A.N.G.S.T.E.R, Linda Tong Planners, and The Pink Umbrella Bakery.

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