The first challenge, "The Trading Post," took place July 23 at the N.T. Enloe Conference Center. In this challenge each entrepreneur was given two minutes to pitch his or her company to a panel of esteemed judges from the investor and professional business communities. At the conclusion of the event, companies were stack ranked based on their presentations and the top companies earned the night's prize and bonus points for the next round.
The top ranked pitch from "the Trading Post" was Novasyte followed by, Save Our Skins, Telecom Lifters, Cable Master, and MyIndependentContractor.com. Other contestants included BAQ Enterprises, Bumblebee Transport, Clean Traks, HFB Enterprises, MendaComp, Organic Chico Wash, SafeHealthInsurance.com, Sauer Energy, You Gaming, and Wiredcat. All contestants will go on the the next challenge, "The Snake Pit," taking place September 10 also at the N.T. Enloe Conference Center.
The “Snake Pit” program challenges contestants to justify their business opportunity, their solution, and their execution strategy. This will be a five-minute Powerpoint presentation detailing the problem to be solved, their proposed solution, market size and segmentation, customer acquisition, revenue model, and competitive advantage and defensibility. The judges will ask questions and give feedback on each presentation and, along with the audience, narrow the group of contestants down to 8 companies who move on to “Make or Break Beach”, which will focus on execution plan, financial projections, capitalization requirements, and exit strategy.