Wasco County Innovation Initiative partners are launching a small business pitch competition that invites entrepreneurs to showcase their business ideas and compete to win funding and exposure. The competition is open to small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs in Wasco, Sherman, and Hood River counties, who are seeking financial support and a platform to showcase their products or services. Participants will have the opportunity to pitch their business idea in front of a panel of judges composed of industry experts and investors during a live event, “Gorge Pitch Fest,” scheduled for June 14 at the Granada Theatre in The Dalles. The winner will receive a grand prize of $7,000 in funding, with additional cash prizes to be awarded for second place, third place, and the audience’s favorite pitch. The application deadline is May 17, and information is available at mcedd.org. Wasco Innovation Initiative partners involved in this event include Mid-Columbia Economic Development District, Columbia Gorge Small Business Development Center, Port of The Dalles, Columbia Gorge Community College, Business Oregon and the Wasco County Economic Development Commission.