BELOIT—Seven minority-owned businesses were able to give pitches for growing their ventures during the inaugural Rock County Jumpstart pitch event on Wednesday night.

Around 150 people, local officials and business stakeholders gathered at the Beloit Public Library to support the small group of entrepreneurs who had been hard at work through a 10-week intensive accelerator program to help sharpen their entrepreneurial skills and business plan. Keynote speaker Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes also spoke prior to the pitches, encouraging the Beloit community to build a business environment that was inclusive for all people.