ENGLEWOOD — The Englewood tea-infused energy snack company TeaSquares received a $5,000 grant Monday.
Founder Jordan Buckner, 28, won a recent Make City Business pitch event competition sponsored by Groupon and organized by the Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago.
"TeaSquares is honored to receive the Make City award as up-and-coming businesses like ours, and many others, need support and resources from organizations like Groupon and [the council] to help us deliver on our mission,” Buckner said. “Winning this award enables us to launch our new single-serve packs and fund our fellowship program, through which we hire young adults from underserved communities.
TeaSquares will receive a $5,000 grant to help with its growth, in addition to $2,500 in UPS shipping credits. Out of five finalists, Buckner's company was selected as the grand prize winner. The finalists were invited to pitch to a panel of local business leaders on:
• The quality of their business plan and the likelihood that they could execute it
• Soundness of their financial status and projections
• A clear plan for job creation
• The marketability of their product or service
• And how they planned to use the extra money and supplemental services
“We were very impressed by Jordan’s business acumen and how he and his co-founders plan to use the additional financial resources and services to market their business to the broader marketplace and hire more teens and young adults from the Englewood neighborhood,” said Nikhil Sagar, pitch event judge and vice president and general manager of Groupon Goods North America.
“Great local businesses are the foundation of the neighborhoods that we call home, and we’re proud to support the critical work being done by [the council] to help these entrepreneurs get to the next level.”