At the end of last year, we had the great honor of being selected to participate in the Catapult Competition, organized by The St. Louis Business Journal and MasterCard. In the competition, women-owned businesses were selected to compete for a $10,000 package of technology services courtesy of MasterCard.
Our founder Dawn Manske applied to be in the Catapult Competition and was accepted as one of three finalists. She was paired with three coaches from Webster University:
- Eric Rhiney, Assistant Professor of Management
- Nicole Roach, Associate Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion
Senior Directory for Community Engagement
- Terry Sullivan, Assistant Professor of Advertising & Marketing
As part of the competition, Made for Freedom founder Dawn Manske worked with three business coaches from Webster University to hone and perfect marketing and communications messages, strategies and tactics. The competition culminated in The St. Louis Business Journal Women in Business Conference at Union Station on Friday January 29, 2017, where she pitched her business plan and mission to event attendees, who voted on winners for the prize.
While the top prize was awarded to the impressive ladies at RISE Collaborative, Made for Freedom was awarded a $2,500 technology gift card as a finalist in the competition. Congratulations to all who participated!
“We just really connected and they were very encouraging and had some great thoughts on how to go about marketing in general,” said Manske. They helped me think of ways to share a story like this so people understand what you’re doing and how you’re really helping women.”
Special thanks to the Webster University team, Mastercard and St. Louis Business Journal for their support and expertise throughout the process. Thanks to their support, Made for Freedom was able to clarify and move forward with its plans to expand retail sales and e-commerce in 2017.
To read more about our process as part of the competition, explore the articles below:
- Webster University professors help local entrepreneur in Catapult Competition (Webster University)
- Catapult Competition: Made for Freedom makes hires to expand sales reach (St. Louis Business Journal)
- Catapult Competition: Manske eyes nationwide expansion for Made for Freedom products (St. Louis Business Journal)
- Catapult Competition: Looking back on 2017 competition by Mastercard (St. Louis Business Journal)