SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Local entrepreneurs vied to win grants valued up to $6,400 when pitching their business ideas in the 2014 “Swimming With the Sharks” contest, held recently at Briar Cliff University.
Winners of the BCU sponsored business competition, and the amount of the grants they received, were:
- Vanessa Wodtke-Bloom, Wild-Soaps, made from goat's milk, $2,000
- Jean Gill, Four Paws Fitness and Rehab, $1,500
- Mark Samuelson and Donna Samuelson, Perry Hills Aronia berries, $1,000
- Blake Anderson, Pushlee, consumer app for retail specials, $800
- Anthony Rossi, Double D's Driving Service, designated driving service and pedicabs, $500
- Michael Billings, Pure Retirement, retirement withdrawals using Dwolla, $200
- Jill Guericke-Skillander, specialized skillet, $200
- Ryan Martinez, city government/citizen communication app, $200
The contestants, who ranged from college students to local business owners, had 10 minutes to pitch their business ideas to a panel of local business experts.
The judges included Dave Bernstein, officer and co-owner of State Steel, President, Saturday in the Park; Dustin Pratt, analyst, Avalon Capital, entrepreneur and founder, Solid Rock Clothing, LLC; David Gleiser, director, Woodbury County Economic Development; Rhonda Capron, Sioux City Council; Sam Wagner, Siouxland Chamber of Commerce; and Aaron Langworth, Sam’s Club.
The competition was part of Entrepalooza, a weeklong schedule of events celebrating entrepreneurial spirit in Siouxland.