Hilton Head Island Economic Development Corporation’s “Shark Tank” esque contest proves wildly successful

Posted by Paige Rose on Monday, February 29th, 2016 at 11:15am

Hilton Head Island has seen an increase in the number of businesses moving their offices to the Island, including technology companies and medical and health-related enterprises. Business owners are relocating to areas suited for their lifestyle and with its pristine beaches, stunning landscapes and wealth of amenities, Hilton Head Island offers business owners the best of both worlds. The Hilton Head Island Economic Development Corporation (HHIEDC) has described the Island as a “location where you can work, play and stay.”  With today’s technology, entrepreneurs have the power to work from anywhere and the HHIEDC plans to promote  the Island as one of the best places in the world to relocate and grow a business.

On Tuesday, February 23, 2016, Hilton Head Island Economic Development Corporation hosted the first-ever “Bring Your Business Idea to Life” contest. The HHIEDC received an overwhelming response from the entrepreneurial community and 73 entries from throughout the country were submitted.  The contest was created in an effort to help savvy entrepreneurs launch their ideas and businesses. Resembling ABC’s “Shark Tank”, business owners were given the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges consisting of well-known business leaders in the community.

Tuesday night’s pitch competition was a huge success, bringing in more than 150 business and community leaders. The competition was held at Poseidon Restaurant where the finalist gave “fast pitches” to the panel of judges. Among the pitches were concierge services, real estate apps, a beehive rental company, and a plan for a restaurant to offer late night visitors healthy food options.

Of the six contestants, first place went to Patricia Snelson and her company, Tip Toes Custom Shoes. Tip Toes was brought to life after Snelson realized the struggles people when through to find that perfect fitting shoe while retaining style and comfort. As the first place winner, Patricia received a cash prize of $3,000, enrollment in the business incubator program at the Don Ryan Center for Innovation, legal services from Jolley Law Group, LLC, a marketing & branding package with mentoring from SmartMarketing Communications, a multi-media print/digital advertising package for the launch, media opportunities from The Creative Coast, and small business mentoring services from SCORE and SBA. Additionally, Patricia received gift certificates from SERG restaurant group and a one-year membership to Powerhouse Gym.

According to Don Kirkman, found on HHIEDC.com/Idea.com, “We were excited to see both the large number of entries we received for our first Bring Your Business Idea to Life contest, and the exceptional quality of business ideas that were presented through this competition,” said Don Kirkman, Executive Director of the Hilton Head Island Economic Development Corporation. “This contest was a great way for us to validate the large number of entrepreneurs with new business ideas who reside in the Lowcountry. Working with our small business and entrepreneurial research partners, we look forward to supporting the winners and all of the contest applicants.”

Charles and Frances Sampson were among the constest spectators. Chalres is on the HHIEDC's Board of Directors and was a sponsor of the event. - The Charles Sampson Real Estate Group at Charter One Realty

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