The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

October 31, 2013

“Shark Tank” competition carries grand prize of $10,000


TARBORO — Calling all entrepreneurs. An upcoming “Shark Tank by SpringBoard” competition carries a grand prize of $10,000. The competition is open to all entrepreneurs in Edgecombe and Nash County, and it is based on the popular TV show “Shark Tank.”

“I think there’s a lot of people that have ideas, but have limited access to capital to get them off the ground,” said Edgecombe County Manager Lorenzo Carmon. “Somebody’s going to win $10,000. You never know where the next idea is coming from.”

The deadline to enter is 5 p.m. Friday, The three finalists in the competition will be chosen to pitch their ideas to the “Shark Tank” judges on Nov. 16 at the North Carolina Wesleyan College’s Dunn Center. Entrepreneurs can apply at no charge at  HYPERLINK ""

“In addition to providing a $10,000 prize for the best idea that they have, it also gives everybody that applies an opportunity to get some mentors to help with their ideas for their business,” Carmon said.

This year marks the first “Shark Tank by SpringBoard” competition. All applicants will receive individual mentorship for their business.

“What we’re trying to do is provide some energy around entrepreneurship,” said Jeff Tobias, treasurer/ vice-president of SpringBoard. “This (competition) is open not only to people wanting to start their business but to existing businesses wanting to grow.”

The competition is open to college students, as well. The winner of the college student division will earn a $2,500 tuition credit or payment towards student debt.

Tobias said SpringBoard believes this region has a “high concentration of entrepreneurs” and the organization wants to encourage that entrepreneurial spirit to foster small business growth.

 “Small businesses are the leading source of job creation in the country. Entrepreneurship is the well of small business,” Tobias said. “What we try to do is water the soil so more of the entrepreneurs sprout into small business.”

The “Shark Tank” competition set for 6 to 9 p.m. Nov. 16 is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required. To register, visit  HYPERLINK ""