INDIANAPOLIS - Central Indiana ex-offenders were rewarded for their hard work this week as the Indy Chamber held the second annual Business Ownership Initiative's ReEntry Entrepreneurship Development Initiative public pitch competition. The chamber says the competition helps reduce the recidivism rate by offering business training and education.

Funding was provided by Central Indiana Community Foundation and the Small Business Administration.

This year’s competition was hosted at Launch Indy, and the 2018 winner, Kenny McKinney, served as the event’s emcee. McKinney won the 2018 competition with his company Promise Credit Solutions, which works with clients on financial literacy. 

The 2019 finalists:

  • Dominique Campbell of FH THE BRAND - A small business that specializes in photography, graphic design and digital art.
  • Eric Dycus of Dycus Vision Production LLC - A multimedia company providing videos, graphics, and marketing tools.
  • Earl Johnson of Earl Shines LLC - A consumer service-based business that focuses on shoe restoration and minor shoe repairs.
  • Mark Harsley of KITe  - A web and mobile application that allows families to register accounts for their incarcerated loved ones to easily compose and share messages, as well as, upload and send pictures.

Harsley won the top prize, consisting of $2,500 and a professional services package from sponsors. Earl Johnson won second prize of a package of professional services.