Venture Connectors President Elect John Williamson and Amanda Cannady of Prodigy Biosciences

Venture Connectors has named Prodigy Biosciences the winner of our 10th annual Venture Sharks™ business competition. Prodigy is developing a rapid tableside food testing device that will specifically detect traces of peanuts in food samples. The final round of competition was held May 1, where four entrepreneurs seeking funding for their business plans faced off with a panel of savvy investor sharks fishing for the next great deal. The company was selected based on the viability of its idea, the ability of the competition’s prize to positively impact the business and the quality of their presentation.

Congrats also to Brandon Young and Pascal Tags for winning crowd favorite during audience text voting. He will receive a complimentary Venture Connectors membership for two people for one year.

Venture Connectors received more than 30 applications from entrepreneurs across the region Presenters were allowed a few minutes to describe their idea to the judges, who then fired off questions to the presenters in the style of the popular television show, “Shark Tank.” The winner received a $5,000 cash prize, one year of startup coaching and thousands of dollars of in-kind services to help them take their idea to market. Startup coaching will include one-on-one mentoring from established entrepreneurs and advisors on: strategic planning, product/market fit, software development, marketing and promotion, financial advising and modeling, capital fundraising and legal structuring.

The others finalists were:

  • Gluconfidence, a convenient source of fast-acting, concentrated glucose for people with diabetes
  • Pascal Tags LLC, the first completely passive inventory tag allowing for identification without a chip or battery
  • The Read Read, the first device that allows children and adults with visual impairments and blindness to independently learn and practice phonics and braille

This year’s Venture Sharks title sponsor is the Vogt Invention & Innovation Fund. Thanks to many generous sponsors over the years, Venture Sharks has awarded more than $100,000 in prizes since it launched in 2010.