NAPLES, Fla - Southwest Florida entrepreneurs pitched their one of a kind ideas to investors in the GATOR CAGE. The idea is based on the TV show Shark Tank and the hope is to encourage new home grown businesses in Collier County.
John Jenkins spends most of his days on the beach, marketing and selling the Sandy Sail, a portable sun shade. "No more do you have your umbrella flipping in half, projectile down the beach," says Jenkins, president of Sandy Sail, LLC.
Last year John made $10,000 on his own, but now he's turning to the GATOR CAGE for capital investments and a strategic partner to launch his product worldwide.
"There's help out there for these small businesses," says Colleen Kvetko, president and CEO of Shamrock Bank and one of the GATOR investors. "We have money to lend all the banks have money to lend, that's a myth right now. You have to have a pretty good business and you have to be able to articulate that."
Karl Gibbons, chairman of the Entrepreneur Society of Naples organized GATOR CAGE. His mission is to help entrepreneurs at all stages and all levels make the perfect business pitch the first time around. Gibbons says, the first time, "98 percent fail and the reason they fail is because they don't know how to present. They don't know what to ask and they don't know what they're going to get asked."
Mel Kanar, 73, has spent the last four years inventing the Smartflush. "There are approximately 220 million residential toilets in the United States alone and 44 million of the toilets are leaking while we're speaking, because of the old outdated technology of the old rubber flapper."
Mel invented a duel flush conversion kit to conserve wasted water and save you money on your water bill. He says it can be installed in less than ten minutes and starts selling for just $10 dollars. "You will see this product because of the great need. You have to establish a need," says Mel.
GATORS were not obligated to invest in any of the inventions. Presenters had five minutes to pitch their ideas followed by 10 minutes of critique from the judges on how to improve their pitch.
For more information on ESON and GATOR CAGE go to www.eson.me