Six finalists will compete for a chance to win thousands of dollars in cash and prize packages at the first Entrepreneurs Challenge.
The “Shark Tank”-inspired showcase will occur at Center Court of Eden Prairie Center mall from 12:30 to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 21. Hosted by Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce, it’s free to attend.
Finalists are Carol Giuliana of Senior Travel Companion Service; Cheri Monson of CLM Creations; Lesley Fahey of Food Safety MN; Matt Rosen of Sergeant Shortbread; Michele Krauss of J. Etta Couture; and Seher Kaplan of Coccinella.
Competitors will pitch their ideas/inventions/products/services to a panel of four judges. The judges are “Erik the Bike Man” Saltvold, founder and owner of ERIK’s Bike Shop; Liz Diedrich, CEO of Diedrich RPM; D’Wayne Morris of Sole Stadium; and Jake Christenson, president of RowCal.
Prize packages are worth over $50,000. That includes $2,000 for the grand-prize winner plus a chamber membership for one year and $500 for the runner-up.
Finalists, among other things, are also competing for three months of rent-free space at Eden Prairie Center, and cash sums of $2,500 from First Western Bank and Trust and $2,500 from Starkey Hearing Technologies.
“We value entrepreneurship here in Eden Prairie,” Eden Prairie Chamber President Pat MulQueeny has said. “We understand the struggles and barriers they face every day. We also know that Eden Prairie businesses are here to support one another, and the partnerships brought upon by this initiative proves just that. Cash and prize packages won’t take away these barriers, but they can at the very least, lower the hurdle and encourage growth of their efforts right here in Eden Prairie. Every little bit can help.”