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Salisbury University
A Maryland University of National Distinction

Shore Hatchery

Shore Hatchery Entrepreneurship Competition

Competition Dates

Competition Date

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Applications Accepted

Monday, March 5, 2018 - Monday, April 9, 2018

Competition Website

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Competition News

Fall Ratcliffe Shore Hatchery Winners Announced

Ratcliffe Foundation Announces $1 Million to Continue Shore Hatchery at SU

Spring Ratcliffe Shore Hatchery Winners Announced

View All News

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In 2013, the Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation announced a $1 million gift to SUs Franklin P. Perdue School of Business (the largest in the foundations history,) to establish The Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation Shore Hatchery. The Foundation was established to encourage the spirit of, and teach the skills for, entrepreneurship and has agreed to support the entrepreneurship initiatives at the Perdue School of Business. The goal of the Shore Hatchery is to reward individuals for their entrepreneurial efforts in the creation and growth of businesses with the potential of positively impacting regional employment within three years.

Two- and four-year college graduates residing in the Mid-Atlantic region are eligible. This includes all of Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and the District of Columbia. Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York and other regions will be considered.

The Shore Hatchery will fund up to $200,000 a year to be available to those applying for grants through the Shore Hatchery program. Shore Hatchery board of directors members select recipients based on multi-round presentations.

An interesting aspect of the presentation process is the Gull Cage, a Shark Tank-style event. The Gull Cage, selected applicants make a one-minute presentation to the Shore Hatchery board, followed by a six-minute question-and-answer session about their proposals. The Gull Cage requires good communication skills, quick thinking and thorough preparation Successful applicants will be notified and will be assigned mentors at the end of the event.

Another unique feature is an assigned mentor who will consult with the selected entrepreneurs throughout the award process. The mentors are experienced business people with success in founding or growing new businesses. Mentors will be from Shore Hatchery's board of directors, which includes Jim Perdue, President/CEO of Perdue Inc. and Frank Gunion, owner of South Moon Under in Ocean City (Marylands 2013 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year).

For more information, e-mail

We look forward to hearing from and helping the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.


  • The Shore Hatchery will provide funding in the form of cash grants and loan guarantees for entrepreneurial endeavors.

  • Recipients will be selected by members of the Shore Hatchery Board.

  • Targeted funding amounts are $50,000 maximum with other amounts available for non-profit, social and emerging entrepreneurs.

  • Each recipient will be required to present progress reports to the Shore Hatchery Board at the semiannual board meetings for a period of 2 years.

  • Each recipient will be advised by an assigned mentor for a period of 2 years.


  • Aspiring entrepreneurs interested in bringing a new concept to reality. Focus is on entrepreneurial not just new business.

  • Applicants limited to 5 or less employees.

  • Endeavors should not only support economic development but also increase employment in the Mid-Atlantic region.

  • Although open to endeavors throughout the region, preference will be given to enterprises located in the Mid-Atlantic region.


  • The Ratcliffe Foundation was recently named Outstanding Foundation of the Year for 2015! To see a video describing the award, click here.

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