Former Pacer plans event to boost entrepreneurs

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Former Indiana Pacer Jonathan Bender is returning to Indy to give new entrepreneurs a fast-break start.

Bender and equity crowdfunding platform are teaming to put on a Shark-Tank style competition Aug. 21.

A panel featuring Bender will select the top three entrepreneurs to receive a $5,000 package. Bender said the event also is meant to connect minority and women-owned startups with investors.

He is hopeful that all area companies that participate will come out winners.

Bender himself knows the challenges of starting a company. Since the former first-round draft choice retired from the NBA in 2010, he has started several companies in real estate, construction and orthopedics as well as a foundation.

Bender recently told IBJ that Pacers owners Herb and Mel Simon and team executive Donnie Walsh are his business role models.

The Aug. 21 event, called The Live Pitch, is a partnership between equity crowdfunding platform and the Indianapolis Minority Business Development Agency.

Up to 20 companies will present a 10-minute pitch in front of a panel of Bender and local investors.

The competition will be streamed online and outside investors will have an opportunity to interact with the competitors and make non-binding investments in the companies.

Details and registration can be found here.

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