About 150 people gathered for a cocktail party on Wednesday night during Entrepreneur Week to celebrate the bold and the daring. The event, dubbed Crowdfunding and Cocktails, is a hip cocktail party with a cause that attracts top talent across Palm Beach County. The third year event has given away just shy of $30,000 in no-strings attached capital to local startups.
Startup Palm Beach, an economic development arm of the City of West Palm Beach, set out to provide a literal and figurative stage for new companies. Select startup founders received the opportunity to pitch their business to a vibrant community of advocates in a beautiful glass pavilion overlooking the waterfront in Downtown West Palm Beach. The audience was mostly comprised of public and private sector influentials who are passionate about the city and its entrepreneurs (note: not just young people).
Attendees paid anywhere from $20-$100 for a ticket then received their money back in branded $10 bills at the door. Why? So they could give it away to the companies they deemed most worthy after hearing their 2 minute pitches. The exposure and attention garnered during this event was equally, if not more, important to the founders than the seed funding they raised.
A special partner stepped up to provide meaningful support in the way of additional funding that night. The Knight Foundation Fund at the Community Foundation of Palm Beach and Martin County supported Global Entrepreneurship Week West Palm Beach by matching dollar for dollar up to $10,000 raised at Crowdfunding and Cocktails.
Supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Knight Foundation Fund at the Community Foundation of Palm Beach and Martin County invests in civic innovators and ideas that help our city attract and keep talented people, expand economic opportunity and create a culture of civic engagement.
On behalf of the team at Startup Palm Beach, we are truly honored to have our efforts recognized by Knight Foundation, and we’re excited to transfer this meaningful equity to the startup community in the form of additional funding.
Lastly, none of this would have been possible without attendees and our sponsors. Thank you to:
About Startup Palm Beach
Startup Palm Beach is a public-private partnership working with the City of West Palm Beach and serving the community as an extension of the city’s economic development division. Our mission is to educate, connect and showcase entrepreneurs in Palm Beach County to help them succeed both in business and in life. The company co-hosts events with our partners in order to provide early-stage entrepreneurs with the necessary tools and resources required to grow a successful company.
About Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit knightfoundation.org.