Four local entrepreneurs or small business owners pitched their business concept to a panel of three local judges at the recent Catapult Your Business Competition held at The Armory in Owosso. This third year event drew about 50 people to listen to the individual presentations. Businesses represented include: Cornfield Candle Company, Fitness Coliseum, Happy Girl Granola, and Tire Logics. Each participant was required to complete an application, provide an executive summary of their business plan, and the option of a short powerpoint. The powerpoint could be used to augment their 4 minute presentation at the event.
The funding for this event originates from the MEDC for the I 69 Thumb Region which includes Shiawassee, Genesee, Lapeer, St. Clair, Tuscola, Sanilac, and Huron Counties. Each county sponsors a local competition where the first and second place winners are awarded $2,500 and $1,500 respectively. The first place winner will compete at the regional level against the other six county level winners. The first place regional winner will receive $6,000 with $4,000 and $2,000 awarded to second and third place.
First place in Shiawassee County went to Aly Caverson of Happy Girl Granola. Aly began her business as a home based business, grew to leasing a commercial kitchen, and recently obtained a space in Owosso for her own commercial kitchen and retail outlet. She has several outlets for her granola around the state and her goal is to grow her retail business locally while contracting with more outlets in other communities. As part of this plan, she hopes to create some employment for others.
Second place went to Kevin Hibbard of Tire Logics. Kevin is expecting to launch his business in mid 2019. Tire Logics’ Tire Tender is a patent pending, multipurpose tire maintenance system, developed with safety, fuel efficiency and tire wear and tear in mind. Tire Tender is ideal for the average car owner, mechanic, first responders, car enthusiast and many more. Kevin’s business is located in Owosso, and initially, will be led by a team of four.
Judges for the competition included Colleen Dell, Oxford Bank; Melissa Wheeler, Murtle’s Handmade Chocolates; and Nicholas Pidek, Foster Coffee Company. Event sponsor was Oxford Bank.