Local Business Owners Ready Final Pitches for SMARTstart Challenge

February 29, 2016

Saint Leo, Fla. (February 19, 2016) — On February 25, five Pasco County entrepreneurs will enter TECO Hall at Saint Leo University to pitch their business concept before a live audience and a panel of business and community leaders.  As participants in the second annual SMARTstart Challenge, the entrepreneurs will be competing to win a cash prize courtesy of Goin’ Postal Zephyrhills and the Dade City Chamber of Commerce as well as a six-month membership in the Pasco Economic Development Council’s SMARTstart Pasco Business Incubator program.

Eight participants took part in the preliminary round of the business pitch competition at the SMARTstart Dade City Incubator on February 10.  At the conclusion of the first round, five businesses were selected to take place in the finals based on the effectiveness of both their presentations and business plans:

  • BioscanR Inc. – Developer of a wearable, wireless vital sign monitor
  • Café Leo – Offering custom, branded K-cups to college and university student organizations
  • Entangle Media – Now developing the capability to offer vocal, online reviews for products and services.
  • Net Synergy Virtual Solutions LLC – Developer of a mobile application for managing gift cards
  • Stampede Athletics LLC – Developer of a digital training and analytics program for track and field athletes and coaches

“The SMARTstart Challenge provides these business owners a unique opportunity,” says Krista Covey, SMARTstart Program Director.  “Not only will the winner take home some start-up capital, which is always important for a new company, but all the entrepreneurs get a chance for feedback on their pitch giving them the chance to improve their presentation for future business prospects.”

The SMARTstart Challenge finals will be held in conjunction with Saint Leo University’s student business plan competition on Wednesday, February 25.  Student presenters will take the stage at 3 p.m. with the SMARTstart Challenge Finals taking place at 4 p.m  The winner and runner up of the SMARTstart Challenge will be announced at a reception following the presentations.  Both the business plan competition and SMARTstart Challenge finals are open to the public and will take place at TECO Hall at Saint Leo University – School of Business,. 33701 State Road 52, Saint Leo, FL 33574 .  Seating is limited and RSVPs are requested.  Visit www.pascoedc.com/incubator/smartstart-challenge/ to reserve your seat.

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About Pasco Economic Development Council
Pasco EDC is the lead economic development organization dedicated to the overall growth and prosperity of Pasco County through the development of a sustainable and diversified economy.  Pasco EDC continues to be a strong partnership funded by corporate and public investors focused on the economic vitality of Pasco County.
www.pascoedc.com

About SMARTstart Pasco Incubators
SMARTstart is the Pasco Economic Development Council capstone program to engage entrepreneurs, grow new business, and create job opportunities in Pasco County. Program partners include the City of Dade City, City of New Port Richey, Dade City Business Center, Florida High Tech Corridor Council, Greater Dade City Chamber of Commerce, Pasco County Board of County Commissioners, Pasco-Hernando State College, Saint Leo University, USF Connect, USF Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Service Core of Retired Executives (SCORE), and Tampa Electric Peoples Gas (TECO). 
www.SmartStartPasco.com