Five finalists for upcoming ‘Shark Tank’ style competition featuring local entrepreneurs

April 23, 2022 | 12:07 am

Updated April 22, 2022 | 10:08 pm

The Greater Owensboro Pitch Competition (GO Pitch), will feature local residents pitching their best business ideas to Owensboro’s sharks, local entrepreneurs, community stakeholders, and investors.

The five finalists have been announced for next month’s GO Pitch Competition, a “Shark Tank” style event where local entrepreneurs are competing for $5,000. Finalists include Art Lab Owensboro, Benchsmart Benches, Mindful Mushrooms, Sundance & Sam Books and Tiki Lab. 

Descriptions of each business idea can be found below. Contestants will be eligible to win a first-place prize of $5,000, and second place will receive $2,500. There will also be a “Crowd Favorite” award of $1,500 picked the day of the competition by the audience. 

As previously announced, the judges will be Aaron Kizer, Allison Ross, David Oetken, and John Marshall Moore. 


The Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation (GOEDC) and the Owensboro Small Business Development Center are working together to host the competition, which will take place at 12 p.m. on May 5 at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum. 

The competition is free and open to the public, but attendees are asked to register here before the event. Boxed lunches from Niko’s Bakery and Café will be available beginning at 11:30 am. 

Descriptions of the five businesses pitching, as provided by GOEDC, are as follows:

Art Lab Owensboro provides high-quality art and STEM activities to children in an environment conducive to experiential learning and individual growth. It is owned by Amy Burgan, an experienced educator, who has also created and sold her own art for 15 years. Art Lab Owensboro will help children see the connections between art and STEM, develop skills in both areas, and create products that use both art and science. 

Benchsmart Benches is the creation of three Daviess County High School Seniors: Daniel Flick, Noah Clark, and Preston Smith. They created and have produced a bench that allows you to charge your devices via solar powered electronic chargers. The concept stems from society’s increased reliance on technology, the need for more renewable energy, and peoples’ urge to go outside despite having responsibilities online. 

Mindful Mushrooms is owned by Jill Taylor and Gillian Grant, entrepreneurs and business owners that are trained in mycology – the scientific study of fungi. They have been cultivating small harvests of culinary and medicinal mushrooms and would like to expand their business on a larger scale by offering additional products, such as supplements. They envision selling their gourmet mushrooms to local restaurants and grocery stores. 

Sundance & Sam Books will help Owensboro’s readers explore, connect, and create by combining the literary roots of an independent bookstore with the social opportunities of a local coffee shop or neighborhood pub. Molly McCarroll, Founder and Store Manager, wants to make book buying a special experience and create a venue where reading is a joy. McCarroll is a native of Owensboro that wants to demonstrate a commitment to literacy, and to those writers and readers who value it, with a vibrant independent bookstore. 

Tiki Lab is a tropical tiki-themed bar that will serve premium quality drinks and a light menu in a relaxed island vibe atmosphere. The bar will be located in downtown Owensboro. Tiki Lab, owned by Daniel and Maria Keaveney, will also offer bartending classes and event rental space. Daniel is a nationally recognized bartender, and both have degrees in the Culinary Arts and Nutrition. 

April 23, 2022 | 12:07 am

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