The fourth annual ‘Spark Your Startup’ Business Pitch contest held in Barnesville, MN, has awarded three winners. First place and $1,500 was awarded to WalkSmart. WalkSmart is a health, safety, and fitness device for users of walkers, allows families, caregivers, and healthcare providers to respond to potential emergencies, catch illnesses before they result in hospitalization, and help maintain proper fitness to reduce the risk of falling. Second place and $500 was presented to ConnectLabs. ConnectLabs helps make businesses smarter by helping them understand the true value of a customer and what engages them. The application integrates with point of sale systems to track spending habits as well as visits, dwell times, and which marketing/advertising campaigns are working etc. People’s Choice and $250, determined by public vote, were awarded to CouchJersey. The CouchJersey is a couch/sofa slipcover in the form of a football jersey, racing suit, or other fan apparel.
“There were some great ideas and presentations here tonight,” said Cooper Bierscheid, founder of Protosthetics and 2017 competition judge. “I hope all of these participants continue to move forward with their initiatives.”
As first place winner, WalkSmart also receives several in-kind prize donations and is eligible for a $10,000 forgivable loan from the Barnesville Economic Development Authority, if they choose to open a business within the city by March 1, 2018. 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, Oct. 5, 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.
Barnesville Business Pitch sponsors are Stoneridge Software, Dean’s Bulk Service, Crown Appraisals, Protosthetics, Barnesville Economic Development Authority and the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation.
Other contest finalists included Webblen, Project Phoenix and Treq. Read more on the top 2017 Spark Your Startup Pitch finalists.