Everything you need to know about REV Birmingham’s “The Big Pitch” on Nov 23

Observers at REV Birmingham’s The Big Pitch. Photo via REV Birmingham

It’s time for REV Birmingham‘s 5th annual “The Big Pitch.” During the event, five local startups will compete to show how their idea will improve downtown Birmingham. Learn more about the five contestants!

What is The Big Pitch?

Gatos and Beans, Alabama’s 1st cat café is one of the past winners of The Big Pitch. Photo via REV Birmingham.

The Big Pitch is REV Birmingham‘s business pitch competition. During the event, Birmingham’s up-and-coming entrepreneurs are given technical assistance, mentoring, exposure and capital.

In order to win, finalists must demonstrate three values:


  • Impact: How will the business concept or growth affect downtown or neighborhood vibrancy?
  • Viability: Who’s the competition? How will the business meet customer needs and drive demand over time?
  • Prize Plan: How would the Big Pitch prize money be applied to help the business move forward?

“Throughout the Big Pitch process and even beyond the live event, REV and our sponsors, mentors and service providers will support these entrepreneurs as they work toward their dreams.” 

David Fleming, REV CEO and President

Meet the 2019 Big Pitch Finalists

1. Blueroot Co.

blueroot co., one of the competitors in The Big Pitch
Jessica Conger at blueroot co.’s Pepper Place pop-up. Photo by Taylor Babington for Bham Now
  • Who: Jennifer Ryan
  • What: Since Blueroot Co. is focused on nutrient-rich produce, owner Jennifer Ryan showcases the best that local farmers have to offer. In addition, Blueroot Co. even operated as a Pepper Place pop-up this summer.

2. Elysian Gardens

Elysian Gardens, one of the competitors in The Big Pitch
The proposed garden in Avondale. Photo via Elysian Gardens
  • Who: William and Kelly Colburn of Iron Age Studio.
  • What: Since Avondale is in the midst of a renaissance, Elysian Gardens is looking to build upon that. Elysian Gardens will be a community sculpture park featuring art, music, & food.

3. Encore Rouge

Encore Rouge Food Truck, one of the competitors in The Big Pitch
The Encore Rouge food truck. Photo via Encore Rouge
  • Who: Antoinne and Shantale Davis
  • What: While they serve authentic Cajun dishes from their food truck, Encore Rouge is working towards a brick and mortar restaurant.

4. Relaxation Room

  • Who: Adrian Ward
  • What: Massage therapist Adrian Ward has plans to create the Relaxation Room, where you can sit in a massage chair, put on virtual goggles, and take a trip to a peaceful place. 

5. Sidekicks

Sidekicks, one of the competitors in The Big Pitch
Joseph Bradley, cofounder of Sidekicks. Photo by Terri Robertson for Bham Now
  • Who: Bonventure Akinlosotu and Joseph Bradely
  • What: Since their debut in Avondale, Sidekicks has been driving Birmingham’s sneaker culture. Now, Sidekicks is looking to grow their shop into a boutique-style smart store.

Live Pitch Competition

Upswing by REV Birmingham
Upswing, REV Birmingham’s experiment to bring retail shops to downtown. Photo by Matthew Niblett for BhamNow
  • Where: Upswing
  • When: November 23rd, from 1PM-4PM
  • Tickets: $25, available online

So, now that you know all the contestants, it’s almost time to see the competition. The competition will take place at Upswing, across the street from The Pizitz.

If you’d like to attend The Big Pitch, purchase a ticket online. But, you better act fast. Tickets are going fast, and the sales end on November 20th.

Which startup are you most interested in? Let us know by tagging @bhamnow

Author: Nathan Watson

Tennessee native who fell in love with Birmingham during college. Graduated from Birmingham-Southern College in 2019. Passionate about Birmingham and its continued growth.