Mastercard and Bank of America announced Deidre Mathis, Founder of Wanderstay as the winner of the third annual Grow Your Biz Contest, which called on small business owners across the country to pitch their business plans for the chance to win $25,000 and individual coaching from industry experts on how to take their business to the next level.
This year, small business owners submitted videos answering the question: “How would $25,000 help grow your business?” to the Grow Your Biz microsite. From the submissions, four finalists from across the U.S. were selected to pitch their business plans in New York City at Union Park on November 14th. The Grow Your Biz panel of expert judges, including Create and Cultivate CEO Jaclyn Johnson, host of CNBC’s “Cleveland Hustles” Bonin Bough, Head of North America Small Business for Mastercard Ginger Siegel and Bank of America Small Business Product Management executive Kelly Firment, selected Wanderstay as the grand prize winner.
After having traveled to over 43 countries on all 7 continents, Mathis fell in love with the instant community and cultural diversity hostels provided. She wanted to bring that same experience stateside, and this the concept for Wanderstay was born in Houston, Texas. Wanderstay aims to connect travelers from all over the globe and make travel more accessible by offering affordable private and shared accommodation complete with an instant community.
“We would like to congratulate all four of our finalists, who each brought tremendous passion and innovative ideas to the table,” said Kelly Firment, Small Business Product Management executive at Bank of America. “We were extraordinarily impressed with Deidre Mathis of Wanderstay and look forward to supporting her vision for the next stage of their journey. Whether you’ve been in business for decades or are just starting out, we are committed to providing the resources business owners need to help them grow.”
The Grow Your Biz Contest, which launched in 2017, draws submissions from a range of diverse U.S. business owners seeking the opportunity for funding and consultation to help them grow their businesses. This year’s finalists included mental health counseling company, Creative Counseling for Healthy Living, LLC from Illinois, Kentucky-based plant shop and community Forage, mobile dining experience company, Sweet Potatoes and Black Beans from Philadelphia and Houston’s modern private and shared accommodations provider Wanderstay