By Christopher Stephens
The Herald Bulletin, Anderson, Ind.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Before Charity Rees and Lindsay Montgomery won a pitch contest they said many people didn’t take their Aerial Fitness company seriously or were reticent to invest. But the “pitch night” win has been a major boost for business.
A door opener.
That’s what co-founders of “Aerial Fit2Fly” Charity Rees and Lindsay Montgomery consider their win at Vesuvius Coworking Pitch Night in January.
And just four quick months after their plan to launch the county’s aerial silk and bungee fitness gym beat out five other entrepreneurs, the two are putting the finishing touches on their first location at 901 Meridian St. in Anderson.
“We are really recognizing that after winning at Vesuvius, the community is really rallying around us,” Rees said.
Before the win, as they were searching for locations or approaching banks and developers for financing or help, Rees said many people didn’t take them seriously or were reticent to invest because the fitness industry can be turbulent.
But after the win, all that changed.
“All of a sudden they looked at us as entrepreneurs, instead of two crazy girls,” she said.
For Montgomery, the pitch night also acted as an introduction to city resources like the Redevelopment Commission.
“There are so many resources in this community for entrepreneurs, but we just didn’t know about them,” she said.
“After the event, they were coming up to us.”
Vesuvius founder Shane Bivens said though winning the pitch night offered Aerial Fit2Fly a little over $7,000 in startup funding, the real win was giving them an accolade to hang their hat on.
“They would have been successful without this — their business plan is solid and they know what they’re doing,” he said. “But what pitch night offered was exposure, to the mayor, to Bankable … and a level of validity. Really, for them to have that catapult.”