Originally published in the Yellowstone County News print edition on Jan. 6, 2017.
HELENA – The Montana Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network has partnered with the Governor’s Conference on Tourism and Recreation to increase its reach to one of Montana’s leading industries. The Montana SBDC Network will host business consulting, business classes and its annual Shark Tank live pitch business plan competition at the conference.
“Tourism, recreation and business development go hand in hand,” said SBDC State Director Chad Moore. “This partnership is a real win for small business attendees, as they learn industry trends while also receiving consulting and training from expert SBDC advisors. They’ll also be entertained by Shark Tank, a first for the Governor’s Conference.”
Shark Tank creates a forum for local entrepreneurs to present their business plans and receive constructive feedback from a panel of industry professionals. First place in the contest will win $5,000, second place will win $2,500, and third place will win $1,000.
Ronald Turner, owner of Anchor Yanker, a Montana-based startup business based on a device that pulls, or “yanks,” rope efficiently was the winner of last year’s competition. Turner believes the winnings gave him a huge boost to help his business off the ground.
“Winning the prize money helped get manufacturing going, but it was not the best thing to come from the competition,” said Turner. “Winning was reassurance that the product I created was a good idea. It was very uplifting to know that professionals, other inventors and entrepreneurs not only thought that my invention was feasible but were excited by it, and I made many contacts that helped to get my invention from idea to production.”
Entrepreneurs interested in competing in the fourth annual live pitch competition should register for the event beginning Jan. 4. The competition is open to Montana startup/pre-venture entrepreneurs in the “idea phase” with less than one year of activity. This year’s panel of judges will include high-profile experts across the banking and finance… Read full story in Yellowstone County News Electronic version or subscribe today