Main Content


16 July 2018

Finalists compete for $25,000 prize in Small Biz Salute Pitch Off contest

Three female entrepreneurs advance in national competition presented by The UPS Store, Inc. and Inc. Magazine

SAN DIEGO, July 16, 2018 – The UPS Store, Inc. and Inc. Magazine have announced the three finalists for the Small Biz Salute Pitch Off, a national competition that will reward one small business owner with $25,000 and an editorial feature in Inc. Magazine to help grow their business.

On August 8, Keitha Dendy of League City, Texas; Megan Eddings of Houston, Texas; and Bryanne Leeming of Boston, Massachusetts will compete at the Small Biz Salute Pitch Off event in Detroit, Michigan where the grand prize winner will be announced during the event.

“We are thrilled for Keitha, Megan and Bryanne as they advance in our Small Biz Salute Pitch Off competition,” said Michelle Van Slyke, senior vice president of sales and marketing for The UPS Store, Inc. “These women entrepreneurs represent the tenacity and ingenuity of small business owners across the nation who enrich our communities and inspire others to consider starting a business.”

At the Pitch Off event, each finalist will face a live audience and  all-star panel of small business experts including Bravo TV host Tabatha Coffey, Detroit’s own five-time tech entrepreneur Josh Linkner, Wolverines alum and former NFL linebacker Dhani Jones, and Inc. Magazine executive editor Jon Fine. Each contestant will present and answer questions from the judges. 

“These finalists have a unique opportunity to tell the world what makes their small businesses great,” said Linkner. “Presenting their ideas in front of a live audience is truly a test of poise and confidence and we look forward to seeing their passion for their businesses shine through.”

After more than 2,000 individuals responded to a nationwide call for online pitch submissions, thousands voted online to narrow a field of 10 semi-finalists to the top 3 finalists, each with a different enterprise and background:

  • Keitha Dendy, Home Made Luxe – League City, Texas: Founded by a busy mother of twins, Home Made Luxe is a subscription box service that delivers craft kits for home décor projects. Through craft kits and craft nights, Dendy strives to provide women opportunities for self-care. The prize earnings would fund Home Made Luxe’s marketing and communications efforts.

  • Megan Eddings, Accel Lifestyle – Houston, Texas: Designed by a creative chemist, Accel Lifestyle makes ethical active wear designed with patent-pending antimicrobial fabric, which is sourced and made in the United States. Eddings would use the awarded cash for marketing and product development.

  • Bryanne Leeming, Unruly Splats – Boston, Massachusetts: Unruly Splats blends physical exercise and STEM education with its programmable light-up buttons. Leeming, a college athlete and STEM enthusiast, wants to inspire children to be creative and healthy. The prize money would help the business ship units to customers and develop hands-on curriculum for use with the product.

The UPS Store and Inc. Magazine invite startups, local entrepreneurs and business owners to attend the live Small Biz Salute Pitch Off event from 5 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, August 8 at the historic Gem Theatre in downtown Detroit.  During the competition, each finalist will have 3 minutes to pitch their business to the judges. In addition to the competition, there will be networking activities, a live Q&A with the panel of judges and opportunities for prizes and giveaways. 

To learn more about the Small Biz Salute Pitch Off, finalists and judges, visit

RULES & REGULATIONS: The Small Biz Salute pitch-off contest is open to owners of small business owners only. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Grand prize of $25,000 and editorial feature in Inc. Magazine. Must be 18 or older as of 3/21/18 to enter. Contest entry ended 5/4/18. Visit for complete and official rules. Sponsored by The UPS Store, Inc., 6060 Cornerstone Court West San Diego, CA 92121 and Mansueto Ventures LLC, d.b.a Inc. Magazine, 250 Greenwich Street, New York, NY 10007. 


About The UPS Store

With approximately 5,000 locations across North America, The UPS Store® network comprises the nation’s largest franchise system of retail shipping, postal, print and business service centers. The UPS Store locations in the U.S. are independently owned and operated by licensed franchisees of The UPS Store, Inc., a subsidiary of UPS (NYSE: UPS). Services, products, pricing and hours of operation may vary by location. For additional information on The UPS Store, visit For information on franchise opportunities for opening a The UPS Store location, visit Follow The UPS Store on Twitter at @TheUPSStore and like The UPS Store on Facebook at

About Inc. 

Founded in 1979 and acquired in 2005 by Mansueto Ventures, Inc. is the only major brand dedicated exclusively to owners and managers of growing private companies, with the aim to deliver real solutions for today's innovative company builders.  Winner of Advertising Age’s “The A-List” in January 2015, and the National Magazine Award for General Excellence in both 2014 and 2012. Total monthly audience reach for the brand has grown significantly from 2,000,000 in 2010 to over 40,000,000 today.  For more information, visit



Staci Reidinger
The UPS Store

Media are invited to attend the Small Biz Salute Pitch Off event on August 8. Please contact if interested in covering this event.

Back to Pressroom