Winners Announced In Annual Shore Hatchery Program

SALISBURY — Seven businesses received their share of $90,000 during the sixth round of SU’s Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation Shore Hatchery program.

A total of 13 new entrants and five returning competitors vied for the prize money through the Shark Tank-style competition. Winners included the following.

•Mobtown Fermentation, $30,000: This Timonium, Md.-based company specializes in brewing kombucha, a type of fermented tea.

•Soccer Office, $25,000: This sports league management company was a finalist for the 2015 Bernstein Achievement Award for Excellence, the top prize in SU’s annual student Entrepreneurship Competitions.

•Bio Research Solutions, $10,000: This company specializes in technology-based biomedical research services.

•Badjo-T Industries, $10,000: Inspired by video games and anime, the principals of this company, who won $20,000 during last fall’s Shore Hatchery competition, design and manufacture custom, high-tech suits for live-action role playing.

•Modernature, $5,000: This company focuses on sustainable fruit and vegetable growing systems using biomimicry (such as indoor LED lighting) and technology.

•Mindfully Anchored, Inc., $5,000: This non-profit focuses on teaching youth about mindfulness, a technique to focus attention, manage emotions, handle stress and resolve conflicts.

•Cap Strap, $5,000: The product manufactured by this business attaches scoops for powdered products, such as drink mixes and laundry detergent, directly below the container’s lid for easier access.

Shore Hatchery board of directors members, who served as judges at the event, praised this year’s entrants.

“They just keep getting better every year,” said Sandy Fitzgerald-Angello, vice president of Pohanka Automotive Group of Salisbury.

“We wish we had more money to give out,” added Doug Wilson, managing principal of Private Wealth Partners, LLC.

Carole Ratcliffe also served as a judge at this year’s event. William Burke, SU director of entrepreneurship competitions, thanked her, as well as Ratcliffe Foundation-funded partners the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology and Maryland Institute College of Art, for their support.

The seventh installment of the competition is scheduled in the fall, with a potential $200,000 in seed funding available. Administered through SU’s Franklin P. Perdue School of Business, the goal of the Ratcliffe Shore Hatchery program is to fund entrepreneurs in the mid-Atlantic and have new businesses opening within six months, with the potential of employing five or more within a year.

In addition to funding, winners and participants also receive mentoring support from the program’s board. Members include business leaders such as Dave Rommel and Mike Cottingham of Rommel Holdings, Inc.; Frank Gunion of South Moon Under; Jennifer Layton of Layton’s Chance Vineyards; and Winery and Katherine Kiernan of APPI Energy, among others.