Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Shark Tank Virginia receives $1,000 grant from city EDA

SHARK TANK - ÒEpisode 911Ó - An entrepreneur from Brookline, Massachusetts, empowers women to create a community that prioritizes living well, working hard and encouraging women to build businesses of their own with her idea; a trio of entrepreneurs from Williamsburg, Virginia, pitch the sharks a fresh, new way to ease people into water sports with their all-in-one invention; a registered nurse turned entrepreneur from Carlsbad, California, helps breastfeeding moms find a healthy and convenient way to increase their milk supply with her delicious food item; a panda-loving entrepreneur from Burbank, California, hopes to make panda lovers out of the Sharks when she presents her animal-themed pet apparel company, on ÒShark Tank,Ó SUNDAY, JAN. 14 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EST), on The ABC Television Network. (ABC/Eric McCandless) NICK KIERPIEC, GLEN DUFF, SCOTT PARKS (ZUP)
Glen Duff (middle) appears on ABC’s Shark Tank, months after he made his pitch before the judges at Shark Tank Virginia last spring. (ABC/Eric McCandless)

Shark Tank Virginia has received funding from the Williamsburg Economic Development Authority.

Lance Zaal of the Ignition Center went before the city’s EDA at its Wednesday meeting with two requests: First, he asked to use the Stryker Center for the April 14 event. Second, he requested a $1,000 grant to help cover the cost of promotional materials like flyers and programs.

The EDA voted unanimously to approve Zaal’s request.

Shark Tank Virginia will place 30 entrepreneurs before a panel of judges of investors and a live audience. Doors to the Stryker Center will open at 4:30 on April 14.

Just like in the ABC TV show, the participants will pitch their startup to the sharks. More than $200,000 in investments was raised in the inaugural 2017 Shark Tank Virginia.

During the meeting, the EDA asked Shark Tank organizers to track data relating to the event, such as the number of attendees and nights that out-of-town guests stay in area hotels.

Zaal said he felt the $1,000 amount was fair based on the success of the event last year, and hopes the event can help draw out-of-town businesses into the city.

“This is exactly the kind of event we need to have to develop the startup community in Williamsburg,” Zaal said.

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