The First ‘Miller Lite Tap The Future’ Event Kicks Off At Talking Stick Resort

Written by on October 2, 2013 in Events, News, Startups - No comments
Miller Lite Tap the Future

Calling all entrepreneurs in the Valley! The Miller Lite Tap the Future Live Pitch Events are kicking off in Phoenix at Talking Stick Resort on Oct. 15. Make sure to RSVP at because Miller Lite is giving away $1,000 to a random startup JUST for attending. In addition, three lucky attendees will also be invited to pitch their business on the spot to receive expert advice. Don’t miss your shot to network and get advice from ABC Shark Tank’s Daymond John and other local mentors; it’s an opportunity that your small business can’t afford to miss. Click here to vote for the fan favorite video.

We spoke to Steve Canal, MillerCoors Manager of Community Commerce and Partnerships, about the Miller Lite Tap the Future Live Pitch event! This sounds like a fantastic event, so let’s find out what to expect when you mix the Miller Lite tradition of bringing good friends together for good times, with the idea of igniting successful entrepreneurial communities around the country.

Steve Canal of MillerCoors

Steve Canal, MillerCoors Manager of Community Commerce and Partnerships

Q: What is your role with the Miller Lite Tap the Future competition?

Steve: I work for MillerCoors to empower communities and encourage economic growth in entrepreneurialism. I’ve been involved with a smaller 13-year-old program called the MillerCoors Urban Entrepreneurs Series (MUES), which has now expanded into a national program called Miller Lite Tap the Future.

Q: So, it’s called the Miller Lite Tap the Future Live Pitch Event. We get it, like tapping a refreshing Miller Lite keg for a cold beer, quite similar to tapping into the resource of gifted entrepreneurs who are cultivating the future. Well, that’s my analogy anyways. How did the idea for the competition actually come about?

Steve: You hit the nail right on the head. MillerCoors is about bringing great friends and business partners together. We want to tap into the small business and entrepreneurial communities out there. The number one reason for failed businesses is capital. This is a great opportunity for Miller Lite to take it to the next level by being able to help them fund their idea and vision. Miller Lite Tap the Future is a national expansion of the smaller more localized MUES program that MillerCoors has participated in for over 13 years.

Q: How does the competition work?

Steve: We are holding these live pitch events in Phoenix, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas and Philadelphia, with the grand prize being awarded at the final presentation this December in Chicago. We selected five businesses out of 25 for each region. The 25 semifinalists will also submit a video pitch and get their friends to vote online as the fan favorite with a chance to win $10,000. We really want to give businesses the opportunity to thrive, and this is a great opportunity to reach out to the nation. Some businesses may not have had the opportunity to tell their story, but with this event we give them many different outlets of opportunities. That’s really what Miller Lite is all about, sharing great moments with your friends and creating opportunities.

Here are the five teams of entrepreneurs in the Southwest region:

Duo Kitchenware – Scottsdale, AZ

Cheersable – San Francisco, CA

Arden Reed – Phoenix, AZ

Showstoppers Soft Serve Frozen Treats – Phoenix, AZ

The Larell One Step Denture – Carmel Valley, CA

Daymond John

Daymond John

Q: Daymond John is an appropriate guest panelist from his role on ABC’s Shark Tank, as well as running his own successful business ventures. How did you spark his attention for this event?

Steve: We were lucky enough to have Daymond come to Chicago years ago to speak to the winners of the MUES program. He gave them valuable advice from his experiences of being an entrepreneur. It was almost like foreshadowing because this was before he was a part of Shark Tank. Having Daymond work with the Tap the Future event seems pretty natural. He’s an entrepreneur himself. When he started FUBU, a multicultural clothing line, in the 90s, it really changed things and sparked Jay Z to create Roca Wear and Sean Puffy Combs to design Sean John. It was a revolution of this niche of clothing lines and that’s what Miller Lite Tap the Future wants to do.

Q: Who are the judges?

Steve: Of course, Daymond John of ABC’s Shark Tank. We also have Thom Brodeur, executive vice president of Venture Management at Tallwave, and David Rice, founder of business incubator desarrollo.

Q: What can an attendee expect?

Steve: It’s a great opportunity to network and ask questions to successful entrepreneurs, and it’s unique to have all of that in one place at one time. We know it will be an atmosphere full of good people because Miller Time is about celebrating with friends, and we are excited to offer a program that helps turn great friends into business partners.

Q: We understand that there are four additional live pitch events in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and Philadelphia with the grand prize being awarded Chicago this December. What’s the plan behind this?

Steve: We wanted to choose businesses that were a good representation of the Southeast, Northeast, and so on, for each region. We have a total of 25 semifinalists per region and will narrow that down to five. There will be one winner in each region and a grand prize winner overall.

Q: The prize for at this event is $20,000. That sounds like a great start for a small company. Even more so for the $250,000 grand prize winner to be selected in December. What advice do you have for the entrepreneurial teams during the high pressure pitching sessions?

Steve: This is very nerve wracking, but you have to know your business. You’re going to get lots of detailed questions and you need to know it like the back of your hand. Know where the business is right now, where you want it to go, who is your target audience, who you are selling to and definitely know the financials.

“On Tuesday, Oct. 15th, we’re coming to Phoenix at the Talking Stick Resort at 6:30 p.m. If you’re a startup or small business owner and you live in Scottsdale, Tempe, Phoenix, Mesa or Chandler you will want to be there. RSVP and attend the event, where you’ll be able to see a good, core group of people who want to help Miller Lite Tap the Future!

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and find more details at Make sure to tweet live during the event with the hashtag #TaptheFuture, we’ll be giving out prizes and lots of money to entrepreneurs!”

Live Pitch Events:

Oct. 15, 2013 – Talking Stick Casino – Phoenix, AZ

Oct. 22, 2013 – Vanquish Lounge – Atlanta, GA

Oct. 30, 2013 – City Performing Hall – Dallas, TX

Nov. 1, 2013 – Lincoln Financial Field – Philadelphia, PA

Nov. 5, 2013 – Park West – Chicago, IL

Starting in early October, you will also be able to vote online for one of the 25 semifinalists to help them earn the Fan Favorite title along with $10,000.

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