Spring Ratcliffe Shore Hatchery Winners Announced5/16/2018 9:11:00 AM
SALISBURY, MD---On the outside, GOEFER’s electric power strip may look like many others on the market. Inside, however, it’s a more intelligent, economical, energy-saving product.
Michael Herod and Jarred Nicholls, founders of the Frederick, MD-based company, were the winners in the 10th round of Salisbury University’s Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation Shore Hatchery entrepreneurship competition, taking home $30,000 with mentorship support from business leaders Chris Perdue and Patricia Royak.
The GOEFER strip monitors the electricity used by items plugged into it and limits unnecessary current. For example, a television connected to a regular wall outlet continues to use electricity whether it’s turned on or off. When plugged into the GOEFER product, the same television would use little or no electricity when turned off, as the smart technology inside the power strip would stop the current.
Herod and Nicholls estimate that the average family has 65 items plugged in throughout its home, from large appliances to cell phone chargers. By limiting the current when those items are not in use, the GOEFER strip could save some $165 each year in wasted electricity, they said. Per annum, it may not sound like much. Over a lifetime, it equates to thousands of dollars in savings.
Plus it’s good for the environment.
“We believe sustainability isn’t a process or path, but a cultural mission, and we are on a mission to remove wasted electricity,” the founders said.
The spring 2018 Ratcliffe Shore Hatchery competition drew 17 entrants, with approximately half coming from off the Delmarva Peninsula. The event also saw its first two competitors from the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Judges awarded $98,000 in prize money. In addition to GOEFER, winners included:
• Agrobotanicals, LLC, DBA Shea Radiance - $20,000: This Ellicott City, MD-based company, founded by Shola and Funlayo Alabi, manufactures natural hair and body care products using shea butter.
• Blueblood, LLC - $20,000: Created by University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science graduate students Jill Arnold and Mary Larkin, with Dr. Brent Whitaker, managing director of the National Aquarium at Baltimore, this company plans to offer a reliable, high-quality source of horseshoe crab blood to the biomedical industry for Food and Drug Administration-mandated safety testing while promoting the conservation of wild horseshoe crabs.
• The Athlete Academy - $15,000: This Salisbury-based fitness center and training facility, founded by recent SU graduate Cody Revel ’17, is a unique facility using scientifically proven information and technologies to serve young athletes from age 6 to adult.
• Borrowed Pitch - $5,000: With a planned opening in 2019, this southern Delaware-based business, started by SU alumna Lindsay Richard ’11, will offer luxury camping rentals in partnership with Delaware State Parks.
• Eastern Shore Academy of Cosmetology - $5,000: Owned by Doris Ebony Brown, this New Church, VA-based cosmetology and barbering school helps qualify students for state board licensure testing in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware.
• Brow Boost - $3,000: 16-year-old high school senior Tania Speaks of Randallstown, MD, created this organic cosmetics line, with her mother, Tanika Craigs-Speaks, specializing in an eyebrow and beard gel made from aloe vera and vitamin E.
In addition to funding, winners and participants also receive mentoring support from the program’s board. Mentors include business leaders such as Mike Cottingham, president of Rommel Chesapeake, Inc.; Sandy Fitzgerald-Angello of Pohanka Automotive Group of Salisbury; Kathy Kiernan, member of SU’s Perdue School of Business Executive Advisory Council; David Landsberger; Chris Perdue of Perdue AgriBusiness; Patricia Royak, former chief operating officer of Marena Group, LLC; and Doug Wilson, managing principal of Private Wealth Partners, LLC, among others.
William Burke, SU director of entrepreneurship and executive director of economic development, noted this semester’s presentations were among the best he had seen. The judges concurred.
“The candidates are getting better every year,” said Dave Rommel, owner of Rommel Chesapeake, Inc. “The quality of the presentations is definitely improving, as well.”
“I wish we could give money to each and every single one of you,” added Fitzgerald-Angello during the announcement of winners.
Burke attributed much of that improvement to the 2017 opening of the Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development Hub in SU’s Perdue Hall and the local “entrepreneurship ecosystem.” Prior to competition day, business owners received training from John Hickman, director of the Small Business Development Center at SU; Bill Bernard, Lower Shore Mentor of the TEDCO Rural Business Innovation Initiative (RBI2); and Mike Thielke, director of F3 Tech and hotDesks, among others.
The Ratcliffe Shore Hatchery program was established in 2013 through a $1 million gift from the Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation of Baltimore with a goal of providing $200,000 per year in funding for entrepreneurs in the Mid-Atlantic. A second $1 million gift, announced last year, will continue the program through at least 2023.
For more information call 410-546-4325 or visit the Ratcliffe Shore Hatchery website.