Gear Brake-winner presentation-webCongratulations to 2014 Venture Sharks competition winner, Gear Brake, and its founder, Chris Bailey! Gear Brake creates products to help make motorcycle riding safer and more enjoyable. The company’s first product can reduce rear-end collisions by 90%. We are proud to award $10,000 in cash and prizes to Chris and his team so they can take their business to the next level.

Venture Connectors received more than 50 applications from entrepreneurs across the nation for its 5th annual Venture Sharks competition. The Venture Sharks committee chose the top 12 big ideas for the first round of the competition, held April 16 and 17. During those events, the field was narrowed to five finalists. The final “Shark Bait” round was held on May 7 during at the monthly Venture Connectors’ Luncheon Meeting.

Presenters were allowed just five minutes to describe their idea to the judges, who then had five minutes to question the presenters. A combination of judges’ feedback and audience votes determined the winner. During the final round, judges asked the finalists specifically about the marketability of their ideas. The lucky survivor received $10,000 in cash and prizes to help them take their idea to market.

The other four finalists were: Louisville Fish Co., which sells live fish, fish on ice and make its own Paddle Fish Caviar. The company partners with Kentucky aquaculture producers, purveyors and distributors; Million Dollar Scholar, an ed-tech venture that makes college more affordable for families through a platform that teaches students how to win scholarships; Recovery Station, which manufactures, markets and services a kiosk that dispenses customized protein shakes in the convenience of a gym; and YouSawMe, which has patented a retro reflective vest embedded with 60 custom-color LEDs for runners, bicyclists and anyone wanting to ensure noticeability. Competition was fierce, and our judges had a tough decision.

We would like to thank our judges for the 2014 Venture Sharks competition, Bob Saunders, Tony Schy, Lou Kelmanson and Dan Woods, as well as everyone who attended. We hope to see you again at in 2015!