The 2019 Homegrown Startup Pitchfest, a competition for entrepreneurs in Eastern Alabama and Western Florida offering a $40,000 prize pool, has been the source of several small business success stories over the past few years.
The event, which was sponsored by Discover® Debit issuer, Discover Company PULSE, and United Bank, provides opportunity and support for startup small businesses in the region.
“Discover is honored to partner with United Bank to produce this contest and event,” said Discover Vice President of Debit Sales and Account Management Mike Urquizu. “Small businesses and startups are a vital part of the U.S. economy, and programs like this enable Discover to support our clients in the communities they serve. We’re committed to helping United Bank and other community financial institutions provide brighter financial futures for local businesses, and we’re excited to see the visions of these entrepreneurs come to life.”
One success story is contest winner 2U Tire & Wheel, which offers mobile tire sales and service in South Alabama and the Phoenix metro area. They offer all major tire brands and services including mount, balance, and installation onsite.
2U Tire & Wheel’s partners got the idea for their company in 2014 and launched their first iteration of the business that year in Phoenix, Arizona. Soon after, they opened a branch in Daphne, Alabama. Today, the company serves the Phoenix area and offers service in Mobile and Baldwin Counties in Alabama.
After winning the 2019 Homegrown Startup Pitchfest, they launched 2U Mobile Solutions to sell a turn-key business solution to other entrepreneurs wanting to get into the mobile tire service industry.
The company continued to grow and soon opened T.R.A.C.K (Tire, Rim And Chassis Knowledge) Training Center to share 30 years of experience and teach future generations about opportunities in the tire and custom wheel industry.