2024 ELC Pitch Competition

Congratulations to the contestants, and thank you to all the libraries that submitted! As per our theme, each pitch focused on a local equity issues and/or marginalized population

1st place: $3,250 + $750 audience choice award

Khamry Varfley

“Tech to Trade: Bridging the Digital Divide for Entrepreneurs”
Khamry Varfley
Knight Memorial Library
Providence, Rhode Island

2nd place: $2,000

Teresa Holland-Scott

“StartUps for all”
Teresa Holland-Scott

Morrin Municipal Library
Morrin, Alberta

3rd place: $1,000

Stacy McKenzie

“Ride, Repair, Read: Empowering Cyclists!”
Stacy McKenzie
and Jeff Scott
Washoe County Library System
Sparks, Nevada


Adriana Nunez

Adriana Nunez

Adriana Nunez is a member of the Round Rock Chamber’s Economic Development team and serves as the Director of Innovation & Entrepreneurship. Adriana’s role is driving the Chamber’s vision for fostering entrepreneurship and innovation in Round Rock, TX. She is responsible for developing and implementing strategic programs and initiatives aimed at supporting the growth and success of local startups and small businesses. Before joining the Chamber, she served as the Regional Economic Development Coordinator at the Greater Houston Partnership where she assisted with projects related to Digital Technology, Health & Life Sciences and Headquarters Recruitment. Prior to her role at the Greater Houston Partnership, Adriana was the Retail & Marketing Coordinator for the Buda Economic Development Corporation.

Keneshia Raymond

Keneshia Raymond

Keneshia Raymond (she/her) is the Director of Programs and Access to Capital at Startup Tucson, AZ. For 13+ years, she has provided education through her current company Blissful Creatives. In 2020, Keneshia completed the Women’s Entrepreneurship Program through Cornell University. Responding to the gap in the market Keneshia spends a lot of time disrupting what has become the traditional way of funding and access to capital. Over the last several years, she has worked to challenge the systems that have been put in place to keep people of color stagnant, by creating on-ramps and new programs to create opportunities. Keneshia is an author and a fellow of Common Futures Entrepreneur Policy Incubator, and the Director of The BIPOC Loan Fund which is a community-managed loan fund created by CIC. In her free time, she lends her experience and expertise to many non-profit boards in Tucson.

Catherine Tran

Catherine Tran

Catherine Tran, a leader with a passion for community development, currently serves as the Executive Director at the Immigrant Entrepreneurs Summit (Des Moines, Iowa), a nonprofit organization committed to supporting immigrant entrepreneurs in their business journey. She holds a managerial role at Community CPA & Associates Inc., overseeing marketing and branch operations, and supporting small businesses and budding entrepreneurs in their business journey. She is committed to empowering minority communities and fostering business growth. https://www.linkedin.com/in/catktran/

Introduction to the competition

Is your library a player in economic development? If not yet, could it be? 

Do you have an idea on how your library could contribute to local job creation, entrepreneurship, and nonprofits — but you could use a little funding to get started? 

Then please consider submitting to the third annual pitch competition of the Entrepreneurship & Libraries Conference (ELC). Public, school, special, and academic libraries from the United States and Canada are encouraged to apply.

We will be giving away $7,000 total to the top three libraries in the competition:

1st place: $3,250
2nd place: $2,000
3rd place: $1,000
Audience choice award: $750 (added to that library’s prize)

The three winners will also be offered free mentoring as they develop their program.

2024 planning team


The focus of the pitching is how a library can support entrepreneurs, local economic development, job hunters, workforce development, nonprofits, and/or small businesses, with emphasis on local equity issues or marginalized populations and communities.

The target audience for the pitching will be stakeholders in economic development, not librarians. Therefore our three judges, who will rank the top three submissions on the pitch day in May, will be economic development officers.

Past contestants have noted that simply brainstorming what to say in a pitch – and whom to pitch to – have been very useful outcomes of this competition.

Pitches and workshop videos from past competitions: 2023 | 2022 | 2020

See the PLA blog for a good summary of the 2023 pitch competition.

Pitch Perfect 2024: A Workshop for Libraries

ELC hosted a pitch workshop this year to prepare you for your submission and pitch! *Please note, the recording starts 3 minutes into the first panel. If you would like information for the beginning of the workshop, email Angel Truesdale angel.truesdale[@]charlotte.edu

Videos and workshops from past competitions2023 | 2022 | 2020


Lead sponsor:



Other sponsors:

An anonymous donor






Videos and workshops from past competitions: 2023 | 2022 | 2020

The ELC Inclusive Entrepreneurship mini-conference provides examples and inspirations for partnering with marginalized populations and communities. Other past ELC programs are available too.

The ALA Libraries Build Business Playbook provides examples and recommendations of library outreach to and engagement with partners.


  • The winning libraries will share an update with the co-chairs on their process three months after the pitch day, and by the end of the calendar year will either write or record (video) a short “lessons learned” final report, which will be posted on the ELC website.
  • If a library won funding in an annual ELC pitch competition, it must wait two years before resubmitting (in other words, the library has to skip one competition).
  • If an ELC pitch competition planning member’s library wants to submit, that is great and to be encouraged, but that planning member will not participate in the selection of the top three submissions, nor have a speaking role on pitch day.