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Entrepreneurs prepare for FastPitch competition in Rockford

ROCKFORD — Mary Rivera is hoping to make a dream she once had a reality.

In the dream, she was leading a successful factory that mass-produced her late parents’ tasty barbecue-esque dipping sauce for the world to enjoy.

“When you first eat you don’t get that tang until it hits your tongue palate good,” said Rivera, a great-grandmother in her 50s from Rockford.

Rivera is pitching the family secret recipe — James and Edna May’s Famous Old School Barbecue/Everything Sauce — during Northern Illinois University EIGERlab’s 11th annual FastPitch Competition, which kicks off at 5 p.m. Oct. 4 at NIU Rockford and Conference Center, 8500 E. State St.

“I’m taking it on where they left off with their recipe,” Rivers said, “bringing it out so their memory lives on forever.”

FastPitch, which is in its 11th year, invites innovators, entrepreneurs, startup companies, and high school and college students to pitch their products, services, apps or ideas to a panel of judges — and by extension, the region and a community of fellow business-minded go-getters.

Click here for the complete article and photos.

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