The second annual ‘Spark Your Startup’ Business Pitch contest held in Barnesville, Minn. has awarded three winners. First place and $1,000 was awarded to Protosthetics, a developer and manufacturer of prosthetic devices using 3-D printing and myoelectric control, second place and $250 was presented to SteveCo., a manufacturer of a collapsible two-wheeled car tow dolly called Collaps-a-tow, and third place and $200 was handed to Jumpr, Inc., a trip sharing community application for riders and drivers. Jumpr, Inc. also won the People’s Choice award and an additional $250, which was decided upon by public online voting.
“Spark Your Startup was an amazing opportunity to pitch our business idea of Protosthetics,” said Cooper Bierscheid, co-founder of Protosthetics. “It was great to hear feedback from the panel of judges and the community of entrepreneurs in Barnesville. This experience will definitely help take our idea for affordable prosthetics to realization.”
As first place winner, Protosthetics is also eligible for a $10,000 forgivable loan from the Barneseville Economic Development Authority, if they choose to open a business within the city by March 1, 2016. Business pitch participants were not required to be from Barnesville or open a business there.
All entries are the in the pre-revenue stage of business and filled out an online application to enter the contest. Applicants were evaluated, and narrowed down to the top entries. On Thursday, Sept. 3, these business startups made their pitch in front of a panel of contest sponsor judges at Barnesville’s historic Old City Hall. Each startup had five minutes to give their presentation, and judges had four minutes to ask questions, then questions were opened up to the audience.
Judges were impressed with the quality of entrants and thoroughly enjoyed being part of the event. “It was extremely interesting to hear the ideas presented as part of this contest and see the potential each one has in the market place.” said Becky Newell, Vice President of Development at Stoneridge Software, and a 2015 contest judge. “We’ve seen some real gems here.”
Barnesville Business Pitch sponsors are Stoneridge Software, Dean’s Bulk Service, Crown Appraisals, Barnesville Economic Development Authority and the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation.
Read more on the top 2015 Spark Your Startup Pitch finalists.