SALISBURY, Md. – The Shore Hatchery here at Salisbury University has become one of the premiere opportunities for local entrepreneurs and Friday over a dozen were making their pitch in hopes of receiving part of $200,000 in funding.
Federal Brewing Company was one of those businesses competing, presenting their case to the ‘sharks’ on why an investment in their fermented tea business would pay dividends.
They began renovating a bank building in historic Federalsburg five years ago.
“We anticipate transferring our processors license from Denton with an eight-bottle capacity to a 50-bottle capacity at the bank building,” said co-founder Stan Nowak.
And funding from the Hatchery would help speed the process along.
Gayle Galbraith, a co-founder, says she is a driven business woman after a near death experience, and that their product offers more than just taste.
“I really feel like there’s a higher purpose for this healing tonic. And I know that if it weren’t for my knowledge as a health coach, I would not have known how to heal my broken brain.”
Pedro Moore from Delaware, founder of Funding Fuel, came to SU in search of funding for his equity crowd funding platform, allowing everyday people the opportunity to invest in existing franchises such as fast food chains or fitness centers.
He says he learned a lot from his experience at a previous Shore Hatchery.
“This is a great program for local entrepreneurs who just needs one, perfecting their pitch, because when you’re running a business you’re always going to be pitching. Get the good hard feedback. And, of course, raising funding for your company.”
Over the years, we’re told 80-percent of the regional businesses that win this competition are still operating, an unusually high success rate.
Businesses, like the Athlete Academy or Jang Go, who were founded right here on the Eastern Shore.
This competition has given out $1 million to 49 businesses before Friday’s event over the past five years.
The 80-percent of those businesses still running now employ 226 people, while making a combined $16 million in revenue.
We spoke with the winner of the competition, Aaron Hsu from Clear Mask, a business in Baltimore.
They received $30,000 in funding for their next generation surgery mask.
“We’re developing the next generation surgical mask, so it’s more comfortable, breathable surgical mask. So it’s completely clear, so you can really communicate more effectively and naturally with other people.”
These four businesses won funding for their presentations:
- Clear Mask – $30,000
- Femly – $27,000
- Plum Dragon Herbs – $20,000
- Algen Air – $10,000