Former Indiana Pacer Jonathan Bender is returning to Indy to give new entrepreneurs a fast-break start.
Bender and equity crowdfunding platform Crowdfunder.com 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 Crowdfunder.com 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.