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Ratcliffe Shore Hatchery Winners Announced

10/29/2015 1:28:00 PM
From left: Lee Beauchamp, principal engineer, Operational Precision Systems, LLC; mentor Katherine Kiernan, APPI Energy; Timothy Gantzhorn, CFO, Operational Precision Systems; Dr. Christy Weer, Franklin P. Perdue School of Business dean; and William Burke, Ratcliffe Shore Hatchery director.
SALISBURY, MD---The 16 competitors in the fifth installment of Salisbury University’s Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation Shore Hatchery business funding competition changed the game — literally — with their presentations.

For the first time in the history of the competition, now in its third year, judges needed only one round of interviews to determine the winners. William Burke, Shore Hatchery director, said the experience could possibly change the event in the future, with a single round, rather than the two-round contest competitors experienced in previous years.

“This was the best-prepared group of applicants since the start of the Shore Hatchery in 2014,” he said. “The pitches were perfect.”

[Related Links] Burke and John Hickman, director of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at SU, attributed the impressive cohort to an “entrepreneurship ecosystem” that includes agencies both on and off campus. In addition to the SBDC; SU’s Business, Economic and Community Outreach Network (BEACON); and the University’s entrepreneurship competitions, members include the Technology Development Corp. (TEDCO), Eastern Shore Entrepreneurial Center (Hot Desks), Maryland Capital Enterprises (MCE), Pocomoke City and Worcester County incubator space, Maryland Department of Commerce, Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), Launch SBY and area economic development offices.

These organizations worked with this semester’s Shore Hatchery participants prior to their pitches to the judges, comprised of the program’s board of directors.

“We’re all working together for their success,” Burke said.

Half of the entrants walked away with their share of some $110,000 in prize money. They included:

•    Operational Precision Systems, LLC - $40,000. A $5,000 winner in last spring’s Shore Hatchery competition, this company is developing a cloud-based drinking water quality monitoring and management service, with an eye toward expanding into air quality, ground quality and waste management monitoring.

•    Badjo-T Industries - $20,000. Inspired by video games and anime, the principals of this company design and manufacture custom, high-tech suits for live-action role playing.

•    5POP Sports, LLC - $15,000. The winner of the highest prize at this year’s Student Entrepreneurship Competitions, the $10,000 Richard A. Bernstein Achievement Award for Excellence, also impressed the Shore Hatchery judges with plans to manufacture a digital football training device that already has garnered interest from collegiate coaches.

•    Sleeper Creeper, Inc. - $15,000. This company plans to manufacture collapsible mechanic’s “creepers” for professional drivers who occasionally need to perform maintenance or repairs beneath a vehicle while on the road.

•    AM Cooling - $5,000. Using gel technology, this company plans to produce medical “sleeves” that would provide therapeutic temperature control to stimulate healing for injuries such as sprains and muscle strains.

•    Joost Wafel Co. - $5,000. This Delaware-based manufacturer of stroopwafels (European cookies) earned its second infusion of Shore Hatchery funding, following a successful initial pitch in 2014.

•    T&J Tech - $5,000. The principals of this business are developing a 3-D-printed, energy-efficient battery.

•    The Frozen Farmer, LLC - $5,000. This Delaware-based retailer of cold and frozen treats, established earlier this year, plans to expand with a new location in Bridgeville.

For those who were not selected, competition judge and Shore Hatchery board member Jim Perdue, CEO of Perdue Farms, offered encouragement: “Persistence is important in entrepreneurship. Everybody is a winner in the sense that we were impressed with everyone.”

The sixth installment of the competition is scheduled in the spring, with $90,000 in seed funding available. Administered through SU’s Franklin P. Perdue School of Business, the goal of the Ratcliffe Shore Hatchery program is to fund entrepreneurs in the mid-Atlantic and have new businesses opening within six months, with the potential of employing five or more within a year.

In addition to funding, winners and participants also receive mentoring support from the program’s board. Members include business leaders such as Dave Rommel and Mike Cottingham of Rommel Holdings, Frank Gunion of South Moon Under, Jennifer Layton of Layton’s Chance Vineyards and Winery, Katherine Kiernan of APPI Energy and Sandy Fitzgerald-Angello of Pohanka Automotive, among others.

The next Ratcliffe Shore Hatchery submission period is February 22-March 21. For application materials and more information visit http://shorehatchery.salisbury.edu/.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Ratcliffe Shore Hatchery Winners Announced

Ratcliffe Shore Hatchery Winners Announced

Dr. Memo Diriker, director of SU’s Business, Economic and Community Outreach
Network (BEACON), left, and Ratcliffe Shore Hatchery board member Mike
Cottingham, president and CEO of Rommel Holdings, right, congratulate Charles
White and Mike Boylan of PaverGuide on receiving $35,000 in funding from this
spring’s competition.

SALISBURY, MD---Members of Salisbury University’s Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation Shore Hatchery board of directors spread the wealth — literally — during the fourth round of the semiannual competition.

Eight Maryland-based startup businesses, representing more than half of this semester’s 15 competitors, received funding from the initiative, established with a $1 million gift from the Ratcliffe Foundation in 2013 to assist entrepreneurs and help them create new jobs. Winners included:

•    PaverGuide - $35,000. Producing a lightweight, low-cost pervious paving system, this company hopes to help contractors save on construction labor and materials while providing a high-quality, low-maintenance alternative to traditional brick and stone pavers. Production is planned to take place in Hurlock, MD.

•    NUVU- $25,000. Creators of this app hope it will serve as a nightlife guide and social interaction tool for young adults while providing real-time analytics and advertising opportunities for bars and clubs.

•    Kitchology - $25,000. This app will provide substitution suggestions in recipes for diners seeking to lose weight or managing dietary restrictions.

•    Oasis Marinas - $20,000. Winning $30,000 in last fall’s Ratcliffe Shore Hatchery competition, this upscale marina management company returned this semester with a new idea: a “Snag a Slip” website that will allow boaters to reserve marina slips in advance online.

•    Gold Leaf Academy - $5,000. This accredited child care program and private school would serve children ages 6 weeks to 4 years.

•    Kanga Trash and Energy Systems - $5,000. Conceptualized by University of Maryland student Cody Branchaw, this company plans to produce under-seat garbage cans for stadiums and arenas, reducing the number of hours required to clean the facilities after events and decreasing the amount of electricity needed to keep the venues illuminated during cleaning periods.

•    Operation Precision Systems, LLC - $5,000. This company is developing a cloud-based drinking water quality monitoring and management service, with an eye toward expanding into air quality, ground quality and waste management monitoring.

•    IPPS Mentoring Program - $5,000. The first non-profit organization funded by the Ratcliffe Shore Hatchery, this Salisbury-based program provides mentoring services at the Wicomico County Detention Center in hopes of keeping inmates from returning once they have served their sentence. With the funding, IPPS board members plan to expand the initiative to the Poplar Hill Pre-Release Unit this summer.

In total, the Ratcliffe Shore Hatchery distributed some $125,000 this semester for a total of $200,000 this academic year. The fifth round of the competition is scheduled next fall, with some $200,000 in seed funding available.“The judges continue to be impressed with what they’re seeing each semester,” said William Burke, SU director of entrepreneurship competitions. “They had an especially tough time this round, and the number of prizes awarded reflects that.”

Administered through SU’s Franklin P. Perdue School of Business, the goal of the Ratcliffe Shore Hatchery program is to fund entrepreneurs in the mid-Atlantic and have new businesses opening within six months, with the potential of employing five or more within a year.

In addition to funding, winners and participants also receive mentoring support from the program’s board. Members include business leaders such as Jim Perdue of Perdue Farms, Dave Rommel and Mike Cottingham of Rommel Holdings, Frank Gunion of South Moon Under, Laura Baker of Draper Holdings, Jennifer Layton of Layton’s Chance Vineyards and Winery, Bruce Rogers of Sherwood of Salisbury, Katherine Kiernan of APPI Energy and Sandy Fitzgerald-Angello of Pohanka Automotive Group, among others.

This semester’s Ratcliffe Shore Hatchery competition was part of SU’s inaugural Entrepreneurship Week, which also featured the University’s annual student Entrepreneurship Competitions and, in connection with 47 ABC, a casting call for the ABC-TV hit series Shark Tank.

The next Ratcliffe Shore Hatchery submission period is August 17-September 21. For application materials and more information visit www.salisbury.edu/perdue/shorehatchery.

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