Plans are now underway for the fifth annual Scott County Fast Track Challenge, an annual event that helps new businesses in the county find their road to success.
The “Shark Tank”-like business competitions, in which local companies compete for start-up funds and professional services, will be held Thursday, Oct. 21. Applications to this year’s event may be submitted online at ScottCountyFastTrack.com until Aug. 31. Finalists will be notified in September and receive assistance with practice pitches before the live event. Winners are awarded free mentorship, start-up funds and other professional services to help jump start their companies, according to a news release from organizers.
In 2017, the Technology Village Business Accelerator Board of Directors discussed ways to help new businesses in the county fast-track their business on the road to success. Over the past four years approximately 20 businesses have been finalists and have competed in the challenges.
Past winners have included Ion Concert Media, a multimedia company based in Shakopee, which developed Muséik, a new digital sync software that makes it easy to synchronize digital media with live music; Medthera, developer of the “NeuroWalk,” a walk therapy station that allows those with mobility impairments to restore and maintain their health, Hobby Farmer Canning Company, maker of Switchel Fizz, an all-natural pre-biotic beverage that gives you energy, relieves inflammation, and is good for digestion and Euroworx Automotive Specialists, the only certified BMW Technician south of the Twin Cities, specializing in European automobiles and brining diagnostics to your home.
Runner-ups have included ugo wear LLC creators of UGO, the world’s 1st 100% Waterproof dry pouch bag and waterproof phone case that combines fashion, function and technology, Farmhouse Market which provides 24/7 access to members for local and organic food, and IntelligentRx a health care savings innovation company with a mission to increase access to affordable health care to everyone.
Jeff Cerise, of Hobby Farmer Canning Company said in a statement, “There is nothing more valuable to a start-up company than an impartial board of Advisors. The FAST-TRACK Challenge gave us access to some incredibly sharp people that got us to think about ‘smart growth’ rather than just growth.” He added, “Since winning the FTC, we’ve launched a completely new product line, expanded distribution to liquor stores, opened up an e-commerce website, protected some of our most important Intellectual property, and won another Good Food Award!”