SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - If any of you are fans of the show “Shark Tank” you’ve got the chance to watch a similar competition in Savannah this Friday. During “BizPitch Savannah”, seven aspiring local entrepreneurs will pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges.
The winner will receive over $10,000 in cash and professional services to help them grow their new businesses. We spoke to two of the finalists that will take the stage.
Elbi Elm and Carmen McCullum want to expand what they call “The Culturist Union.”
“So, The Culturist Union is private membership cafe-style co-working space. It’s also a marketplace where our members can sell their products and services to the community. And it’s a cultural hub where our members can commune and network and work with one another,” Elm said. “I like to say that it is your favorite coffee shop and your office had a baby, and you have to pay a gym membership to see that baby.”
Elm says the space is intentionally designed for minorities, but welcomes all people, especially allies.
"I hope that it empowers more people to connect with people that maybe don't look or act like them," Elm said. "I really hope that it creates unity."
Maria Vaughan and Michael Wedum are competing for resources to grow their business, Code of Return Compost. Their business hopes to provide an alternative to conventional trash collecting. They collect leftover food from restaurants that is no longer edible and turn that into compost for agricultural use.
"Our main goal is to educate and try to create more awareness" Vaughan said. "Trash is a problem for everybody, and if we can try to highlight that we can make it just as simple as it normally would be for disposal."
All the finalists receive mentoring and practice in pitching ahead of Friday’s competition. It will happen at the Coastal Georgia Center. The event is free and open to the public, and runs from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The competition is run by Savannah SCORE, which provides free business mentoring services to local business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.