San Diego, CA
Online Public Voting for Top Six Finalists Starts June 10
The UPS Store, Inc. and Inc. magazine have selected 10 semifinalists in the Small Biz Challenge, a nationwide contest that offers eligible small business owners a chance to win up to $25,000 and an editorial feature in Inc. magazine. From art therapy to on-the-go skin care, 10 entrepreneurs with unique businesses hailing from across the country need your vote.
The challenge aims to find small business owners who think they have what it takes to compete in a live business competition, testing the core skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur. The UPS Store is searching for the most quick-witted, well-rounded small business owners who can handle absolutely any ing that comes their way.
With more than 1,700 applications submitted online, 10 semifinalists are up for an online public vote now through June 30, 2019. Based in part on vote totals, the top six finalists will be announced Monday, July 1, 2019. The six entrepreneurs will split and three finalists will attend and compete in a Small Biz Challenge event, either in Los Angeles July 25, at NeueHouse in Hollywood or in New York City August 15, at the Cachet Boutique Hotel in midtown Manhattan.
The finalists will compete in a game show in front of a live audience, showcasing their small business savvy and skills. Robert Herjavec, investor on hit TV show “Shark Tank” and founder and CEO of Herjavec Group, will judge the finalists based on their business expertise at both events and announce a grand prize winner. Both events are free and open to the public, and small business owners are invited to attend and network.
“As I’ve said before, you do not have to be a ‘shark’ to create your own success,” said Herjavec. “I am proud to work with The UPS Store to discover some of the best small business owners in the country and help them turn their wildest ideas into a prosperous reality. This Small Biz Challenge reminds us that anyone can achieve entrepreneurial success through hard work, talent and perseverance.”
The 10 semifinalists are:
- Kate Beever, Maine Music & Health – Cornish, Maine: Maine Music & Health provides art therapy services to people with illness or disability and works with health care providers to incorporate the arts as part of the treatment plans of their patients.
- Samia Bingham, Flavors Culinary Group – Fort Washington, Md.: Flavors Culinary Group is a boutique culinary-workforce firm that matches the right talent to the right food and beverage clients.
- Taylor Cook, Cayas Inc. – New York City, N.Y.: Cayas offers essential skin care products for hotels to cater to the modern traveler.
- Leeatt Rothschild, Packed with Purpose – Chicago, Ill.: Packed with Purpose creates business and personal gift boxes containing products from purpose-driven organizations.
- Ingrid Sanden, Boolean Girl Tech – Arlington, Va.: Boolean Girl Tech manufactures the Boolean Box, a computer kit that encourages children to build, code and invent.
- Joshua Tinney, Tinney Tool & Machine Co., Inc. – Belleville, Ill.: Tinney Tool & Machine Co. is a family-owned shop that produces parts for computer numerical control (CNC) machining.
- Bryan Traficante, Garden In Minutes – Fort White, Fla.: Garden In Minutes is the maker of the Garden Grid watering system, a first-ever plant-spacing guide and garden irrigator in one.
- Kimberlee Vaccarella, Bogg Bag – Wyckoff, N.J.: The Bogg Bag is a washable, durable beach bag perfect for all types of beachgoers. The unique patented design offers customization options for beachgoers’ needs.
- Julie Yoder, English With Purpose – Washington, D.C.: English with Purpose offers busy international professionals English-language tutorials and immersion retreats.
- Maria Yuan, IssueVoter – Los Angeles, Calif.: IssueVoter is a nonpartisan online platform that makes it easier for citizens to track and respond to legislation in the U.S. Congress.
“We are incredibly excited to see an impressive group of entrepreneurs advance in our Small Biz Challenge,” said Tim Davis, president of The UPS Store, Inc. “Small business owners are some of the hardest-working individuals in our communities. These 10 semifinalists are the cream of the crop when it comes to innovators and entrepreneurs. We encourage the public to support the small business movement by voting and helping these individuals and their companies take the next step on their journey to success.”
To vote and learn more about each semifinalist, visit www.theupsstore.com/smallbizchallenge.
About The UPS Store
With approximately 5,000 locations across North America, The UPS Store® network comprises the nation’s largest franchise system of retail shipping, postal, print and business service centers. The UPS Store locations in the U.S. are independently owned and operated by licensed franchisees of The UPS Store, Inc., a subsidiary of UPS (NYSE: UPS). Services, products, pricing and hours of operation may vary by location. For additional information on The UPS Store, visit theupsstore.com.
In 2019, The UPS Store ranked #5 overall in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 and #1 in the Postal & Business Centers category for the 29th consecutive year. For information on franchise opportunities for opening a The UPS Store location, visit https://www.theupsstorefranchise.com/. Follow The UPS Store on Twitter at @TheUPSStore and like The UPS Store on Facebook at facebook.com/theupsstore.
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