Creative Enterprise



ArtWorks Big Pitch presented by U.S. Bank is a 10-week mentorship program and pitch competition for established artists, makers, designers, and creative entrepreneurs competing for up to $20,000 in business grants. Click here for important dates. This program is only open to businesses whose headquarters are within 30 miles of the ArtWorks office (20 E. Central Parkway, 45202).

Click here to view last year’s finalists.




Grand Prize: $15,000 business grant
Audience Choice: $5,000 business grant


After a competitive application process, ArtWorks will select 8 finalists and pair them with a business mentor and U.S. Bank Small Business Specialist to receive mentorship and coaching over 10 weeks. The program will culminate in a public pitch event in front of a live audience and an expert panel of judges.



Each finalist will deliver a 5-minute pitch at the Big Pitch event on Thursday, October 6. A panel of judges will evaluate finalists based on the strength of their business plan and final pitch. The winner will be awarded a $15K business grant. An additional $5K business grant will be awarded to the Audience Choice




2016 ArtWorks Big Pitch Application

ArtWorks is looking for creatives who have been in business for a minimum of 2 years to apply for ArtWorks Big Pitch competition. Businesses must have headquarters that are within 30 miles of the ArtWorks office which is located at 20 E. Central Parkway, 45202.

Eight finalists will be chosen to pitch their businesses on October 6th for the chance at a grand prize of $15,000 cash to fund a long-term tangible growth opportunity.

After applications close, eight finalists will be chosen by a review committee selected by ArtWorks. Each finalist will be paired with a mentor and U.S. Banker to offer support throughout the 10-week coaching time frame leading up to the event. Finalists will give their 5-minute pitch at ArtWorks Big Pitch event on October 6th.

Finalists will be notified no later than July 20, 2016. Coaching time frame is July 28 to October 6th, 2016.

Please note there is a $25 application fee. There will be a link to submit your $25 application fee after completing the form. Applications submitted without the fee will not be reviewed.
  • Must be in business 2 or more years as of October 6, 2016.
    ArtWorks defines your "launch" as the approximate time you started generating revenue or when you registered your legal structure (LLC, etc.)
  • Nonprofits are ineligible to apply. You do not need to have a registered LLC in order to apply.
  • Select more than one if applicable.
  • If chosen as a finalist, you will be assigned a mentor to work with you leading up to the pitch event.
  • Tell us your story in your own way. Production value is not important - this can be filmed with your cell phone. Please do not exceed 3 minutes.
  • Business Plan (Required)

    A current business plan is required to apply. Due to limited file sizes, applicants have two options to submit your business plan:

    1. Upload a Word document or PDF.
    2. Link to your business plan via Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.
  • For assistance assembling or updating your business plan, click below:
  • **Update: If your business plan is too large to upload, please use the box below to link to your business plan via DropBox, Google Drive, etc.**
    Your business plan should reflect your current business and should not include your plans for the $15,000. If you are chosen as a finalist, a mentor and US Banker will help you fine-tune your business plan to include those future business growth opportunities. PDFs or Microsft Word documents only. Please note that your business plan will only be seen by the ArtWorks Review Committee.
    Accepted file types: pdf, doc, docx.
  • **Update: If your business plan is too large to upload, please link to your business plan via DropBox, Google Drive, etc.**
  • By clicking yes, I agree that I am at least 18 years of age and a citizen of the United States, and I agree that if selected as a finalist, I will be required to:
    - Provide proof of identity and residency
    - Provide a Federal Tax ID number and completed W-9
    - Comply with all prize recipient requirements as stated above
  • NOTE: If you are not taken to a confirmation page upon clicking the "Submit" button, your application did not go through! You must submit your $25 application fee on the next page. Applications submitted without the fee will not be reviewed.




On August 27, 2015 at the Cincinnati Masonic Center, Big Pitch finalist Brush Factory was awarded a $15,000 grant by a panel of judges and the $5,000 Audience Choice Award.

“Rosie and I are thrilled and honored to have been part of Artworks Big Pitch and so grateful to have been chosen as winners of ArtWorks Big Pitch. We are especially grateful to everyone at ArtWorks who worked so hard on this program and our wonderful coach Bob Bonder, whose help and insights have meant so much. And three cheers to Mike Walters and US Bank for making this possible and for their enthusiastic encouragement for entrepreneurs.”

Grateful Grahams
Covington, KY
Grateful Grahams is on a mission to spread a message of gratitude – one graham at a time.

Team Grateful Grahams

Grateful Grahams_team_2

U.S. Bank Specialist: Jonathan Simpson
Mentor: Kathy Chabot

Butcher Betties
Florence, KY

Butcher Betties is a female, veteran owned butcher shop & gourmet food store specializing in local,  grass fed, natural, and organic meat.

Team Butcher Betties

team_Butcher Betties

U.S. Bank Specialist: Amanda Hamann
Mentor: Greg Schnelle (not pictured)

 Roebling Point Books & Coffee
Covington, KY

RoPoBoCo welcomes readers, neighbors, authors, advocacy groups, visitors and everyone thirsting for cool books, hot coffee and great people.

Team RoPoBoCo

Roebling Point Books and Coffee_team

U.S. Bank Specialist: Mark Sousa
Mentor: Sean Parker (not pictured)

Original Thought Required
Cincinnati, OH

Original Thought Required is a cultural & fashion destination for Cincinnati. Focusing on limited edition apparel by independent designers.

Team Original Thought Required

team_Original Thought Required_2

Mentor: Steve Fink
U.S. Bank Specialist: Vance Marshall

Brush Factory
Cincinnati, OH

Brush Factory designs and fabricates custom contemporary furniture using regionally sourced  hardwoods.

Team Brush Factory

team_Brush Factory

Mentor: Bob Bonder
U.S. Bank Specialist: Michael Walters

Cityscape Tiles
Cincinnati, OH

Cityscape Tiles, formerly Hazel Brown Photography, is a photography service business and product developer, wholesaler and retailer of functional fine art products.

Team Cityscape Tiles

Cityscape Tiles

U.S. Bank Specialist: Khadija Jlaoul
Mentor: Sean Mullaney

We Have Become Vikings
Cincinnati, OH

WHBV is a group of rebels, rockers, thinkers and makers combining strategy and design to help tell stories through any means possible.


We Have Become Vikings_team

U.S. Bank Specialist: Michael Howard
Mentor: Ghuffran Ali (not pictured)

Cut and Sewn
Cincinnati, OH

Cut and Sewn is a sample room that provides design, sewing, and patternmaking services for fashion and soft goods to design entrepreneurs.

Team Cut and Sewn

Cut and Sewn_team_2

U.S. Bank Specialist Lindsay Kessler
Mentor: Mike Zorn


Meet the Big Pitch 2014 Finalists

ArtWorks Big Pitch 2014 Event Highlights from ArtWorks Cincinnati on Vimeo.