Downtown Renton Partnership's business pitch competition returns for second year

Applications to participate in the program opened on Feb. 1, and will close on March 19.

Renton Downtown Partnership’s Main Street Pitch Competition is returning in Spring 2024 after what the partnership called “a successful inaugural year.”

The program provides workshops for existing and emerging small businesses to sharpen their entrepreneurial skills and culminates in a live pitch competition, with the winners taking home cash and prizes to help build their businesses. Applications to participate in the program opened on February 1, 2024 and will close on March 19, 2024.

“We were overwhelmed by the amount of interest from the community in our first year,” says Sue Bollinger, who managed the competition in 2023. “It is this entrepreneurial spirit that makes Renton a vibrant, thriving hub of activity and creativity.”

In its first year, the Main Street Pitch Competition had 67 participants and awarded $15,000 to three winning businesses.

“I met so many wonderful entrepreneurs and professionals who are passionate about helping small businesses,” recalls Mary Wu, who won the People’s Choice award in 2023 for her business Coby’s Cafe, a dog-centric coffee shop for humans and dogs. “What a memorable experience that was! I made connections that have helped me through my journey, and I was able to use the award towards the architectural fees for my new space.”

Business owners can participate in one of three categories, determined by how long they have been in business: Startup/Idea, Early, and Established. Cash prizes will be awarded to the winners of each category, as well as the people’s choice winner.

Participating in the Pitch Competition is free, and all members of the community are encouraged to apply. Renton Downtown Partnership presents the workshops and live pitch competition in partnership with the City of Renton, Renton Public Library, Renton Civic Theatre, and Startup425. For more information and to apply, please visit or contact

For sponsorship opportunities, please reach out to RDP Executive Director Josh Shulkind at