Raydiant, the leading in-store experience management platform for brick-and-mortar enterprises, today announced two winners for its “Rising Entrepreneur” contest. Last Friday, April 15th, five finalists pitched to a panel of judges in a Shark Tank-inspired contest setting. Rize Up Bakery was selected as the Grand Prize Winner, and Kiss My Boba was chosen as the Runner Up. The panel of judges included Akash Kapoor, CEO and Founder of Curry Up Now, Danny Stoller, CEO and co-founder of Square Pie Guys, and Bobby Marhamat, CEO of Raydiant.
Rising Entrepreneur Grand Prize Winner, Azikiwee Anderson of Rize Up Bakery, reflects, “Honestly, I am in shock! I had the pleasure of watching all the other finalists stand up in front of the crowd and put their hearts out for the world to see. I was so humbled and honored to be amongst such driven small business owners. This opportunity will allow us the time and space to maximize our energy and take the bakery to the next level. We are so thankful. Keep Rize Up in your thoughts as we learn to shape our future with less restrictions (help us pay it forward to the next)!”
Raydiant originally planned to create a single retail brick-and-mortar space for just one winner, but following an inspiring night of finalist pitches, it was decided that two retail spaces will be created at its SoMa headquarters. Raydiant will cover the commercial lease, the retail space buildout, and outfit both spaces with its plug-and-play in-store experience technology. This increases the total value gifted to the winners to more than $100,000.
Runner Up Chelsea Tatola, co-founder of Kiss My Boba, shares, “It’s a dream come true to already be expanding our business to a second storefront location in San Francisco. We feel so honored to have been chosen by Raydiant to help us grow in our entrepreneurial journey!”
Marhamat shares, “I won’t lie, choosing a winner was not easy for me or our fellow judges – which is why we made the decision to increase our investment to support not one, but two rising entrepreneurs. All five of our finalists brought the energy, passion and entrepreneurial hustle to their pitches and their personal stories were incredibly inspiring. We look forward to supporting each of our finalists and the opportunity to showcase their products at our rotating RISE Market experience opening this summer.”
Raydiant will begin architectural planning and design immediately with the two winners, with a goal to open the space to the public in July 2022. Raydiant will brand the space as the “Raydiant RISE Market,” with hopes to continually offer Bay Area rising entrepreneurs access to the space for rotating retail pop-ups and community events.
Raydiant is the AI-powered, in-store experience management platform of choice for the world’s largest brands in restaurant, retail, banking and more. With Raydiant, franchise managers, IT, marketing and communications executives can more effectively scale their brick-and-mortar operations, reduce anxiety from outdated technology oversight, and seamlessly create more engaging and personalized in-store experiences that keeps customers coming back and buying more. Raydiant works with nearly 4,500 brands, from SMB to enterprise, including First Bank, Dickey’s BBQ, Harvard University, The Salvation Army, Red Bull, Chick-Fil-A, Thomson Reuters, and Wahlburgers. Founded in April 2017, Raydiant is headquartered in San Francisco, CA and is the most-funded company in their space, raising a total of $50 million from 8VC, Atomic Ventures, Lerer Hippeau, Mark Wahlberg Investments, Bloomberg Beta, Gaingels, Illuminate Ventures, Transmedia Capital, and Ron Conway. To learn more, visit www.raydiant.com.
Morgan Chaney, VP of Marketing at Raydiant