Springfield Hustles announces 10 finalists

Springfield Hustles organizers have announced the 10 finalists who will pitch for a $75K+ prize package at John Legend Theatre at 6pm on Nov. 6.

The finalists include:

• Eric Mata of Substance Abuse Prevention Institute, a startup offering DUI/OVI intervention programs in Springfield, Xenia, Piqua and Centerville;

• Roark Thompson of PIPE AG, a cloud based platform allowing farm operators to connect with their entire fleet;

• Carlos Portis of Inveloped Cards, a text messaging-based greeting card company;

• Abi Gerstle, pitching a rock climbing gym concept;

• Heather Mercuri, of GLAM on the Go, LLC, a mobile hair & makeup startup;

• Jon Francis, pitching a bike store idea;

• Tammy Hrosch of Bows & Blooms Designs, a wedding accessories startup;

• Megan Ballard Kirby of Skin Deeper, a natural skincare & cosmetics startup;

• James Oswald of Aero Imaging Solutions, an aerial photo/video startup;

• Melanie Barrett of Bailey Bug LLC, a startup providing apparel for wheelchair users. 

Each finalist will have 10 minutes to pitch.   

The Springfield business community joined forces for Springfield Hustles, a Shark Tank-style business plan and pitch competition with a grand prize of $75K+ in cash and services to infuse into a startup.

Included in the grand prize — worth $76,350 total — is $5K in startup capital from SpringForward, $5K in startup capital from entrepreneur & angel investor Blake Shaffer and a three-year, and a $5K City of Springfield micro loan from The Small Business Development Center; a one-year membership to COhatch; branding and logo services from Hucklebuck Design Studio; website development from Launch Runner; tax/accounting and outsourced CFO services from LWS tax and Accounting; legal consultation from The Stuckey Firm; radio advertising from iHeart Media; social media marketing from Shift•ology; video services from Champion City Media; photography services from Hatch New Media; printing from Box King; signage from MacRay; and a one-year membership in the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce.

Only new business concepts and startups that have been in business less than three years were eligible. Ventures must be headquartered in Springfield or willing to relocate company HQ to Springfield. Ventures had to be for-profit, and one owner had to be at least 18 years old. Applicants were also required to see a business coach from the Springfield Small Business Development Center before submitting their final business plan.

Click here for more info on the competition.

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