LAKE COUNTY -- Five local entrepreneurs have been selected to pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges during the second annual Pitch North competition. They will compete for the chance to win more than $8,000 in cash prizes to bring their ideas to life.

The finals for the event will be held virtually on Wednesday, June 24, via Zoom.

The finalists in the competition are as follows:

• Ashley Titman, Ashley Marie Farm and Bakery, from Newaygo County

• Paul Avery, Tiki Hut Farm Market, from Lake County

• Amber Hellewell, Hearth Magic, from Oceana County

• Janet Lipzinski, Up North Gift Co, from Newaygo County

• Ron Radkay, Elsie's Ice Cream, from Oceana County

Pitch North was designed to spark entrepreneurial change and encourage more innovative minds to start small businesses in Newaygo, Oceana, and Lake counties.

The five finalists were selected from a pool of 28 submissions. Each finalist will be given five minutes to present their business idea and judges will have an opportunity to ask questions directly after.

Marie Elliot, Business Consultant with the Small Business Development Center; Rich Houtteman, Community Affairs Manager for Consumers Energy; Melissa Marietti-Evans, Commercial Lender at Northern Initiatives, Thomas Hawley, Executive Director of College Relations at West Shore Community College and Scott Rumsey, Owner of Ed's Orchard Market and President of Hesperia Area Chamber of Commerce will volunteer as judges for the event.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pitch North will be held virtually. To view the live event, register at prior to June 24. There is no cost to register.

For more information, visit or contact Julie Burrell at or (231) 335-1985

Pitch North is hosted by The Right Place, Inc. and made possible through support from Consumers Energy, The Fremont Area Community Foundation, Northern Initiatives, Gerber Federal Credit Union, Shelby State Bank, River Country Chamber of Commerce and West Shore Community College.