Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

September 8, 2013

Kokomo area entrepreneurs gets their own 'Shark Tank'

'Swim with the Sharks' entrepreneur contest announced.

From staff reports
Kokomo Tribune

---- — Budding entrepreneurs from a six-county area will have the chance to put their ideas in front of a “Shark Tank”-style jury this November, as the Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance launches a new competition.

Inventrek Technology Park announced “Swim with the Sharks,” a new entrepreneur competition for the Greater Kokomo area including Howard, Cass, Miami, Tipton, Carroll, Clinton and Grant counties.

The contest will pair idea-generating entrepreneurs with business mentors, who will help advise and encourage these entrepreneurs along their way to start their businesses.

GKEDA officials called the competition “a program aimed to engage and support the development of our enterprising and innovative talent.”

The winning entrepreneur will receive a cash prize of $5,000 and services valued at over $5,000. These services, including a free one-year lease at Inventrek, monthly mentoring by local business experts, and access to potential investment opportunities, will be a valuable help in starting a new business venture. The second and third place winners will receive $2,000 and $1,000 awards, respectively, along with six months access to an Inventrek shared space.

“Swim with the Sharks” applicants can complete applications through the Inventrek website which will be screened to be a part of a group of candidates. All approved candidates will be paired with a mentor and coached to create a presentation in front of a panel of judges. The judges will choose the final winner.

Applications may be submitted through Oct. 7 on the Inventrek website at greaterkokomo.com. If your idea is confidential, proper legal protection can be coordinated for you.

Inventrek is a business incubator located in Kokomo. For new technology-driven companies and entrepreneurs looking to accelerate their successful development and realize their potential in developing technology-based ventures, Inventrek provides both physical core services and customized professional/technical services for entrepreneurs aimed at reducing the major risks of early-stage companies.

For more information, please contact Jan Hendrix of Inventrek at jhendrix@greaterkokomo.com, or Andy Baker of AndyMark at andyb@andymark.com.

"Swim with the Sharks" timelineOct. 7 Entry Deadline for Entrepreneur Competition. Entries submitted online are preferred. Entries can also be emailed to jhendrix@greaterkokomo.com or mailed via USPS to Inventrek Technology Park, 700 E. Firmin St.t, Suite 200, Kokomo, IN 46902. All entries must be received by October 7, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. See Official Entry Form. Oct. 8 Competition Committee will review entries and select up to 10 candidates with a viable business idea to compete in the semi-final round of competition. All competition applicants will be notified via email. Oct. 15 Candidates will present to judges with opportunity for questions and answers. Presentation are not to exceed 15 minutes. Question and answers period not to exceed an additional 15 minutes. Judges will choose top 4 candidates to compete in the final round of competition. Finalists will be paired with mentors who will provide coaching during preparation for final round. (Note: If no finalists are selected, the competition will cease at this point.) Nov.12 Finalists make presentation to panel of judges. Winners will be announced.