Ace Hardware is revamping its Open Buying Day to focus on makers and related entrepreneurs.
The Maker to Market event provides independent product creators the opportunity to pitch their product to a panel of Ace buyers who make purchasing decisions for more than 5,000 Ace Hardware stores. Meetings will consist of a 15-minute product pitch and a five-minute question and answer period. Products that interest the buying team could wind up on the shelves of Ace Hardware stores, the company noted. In addition, two maker participants will win a free booth at an upcoming Ace Hardware buying convention.
Ace stated that it is looking to connect with fledgling businesses that have prototype products. They potentially could receive manufacturing, packaging and operational assistance from Ace to help them bring their products to market.
Makers who wish to participate in the event can submit product information up until September 7. The actual judging will occur on September 20 at the Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center. The company charges a $300 participation fee per meeting, with half of all proceeds benefitting the Ace Hardware Foundation in support of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.