26 January Entrepreneurs Transform Park into Shark Tank January 26, 2017 By Laura Pavlus News entrepreneur, festival, Pitch in the Park, Clay County, business development, innovators 0 Full Article by Jesse Hollett of Clay Today here - January 25, 2017 ORANGE PARK – The products of Clay County’s growing entrepreneur culture stood on stage Saturday to pitch their products in the inaugural innovation festival Pitch in the Park. Innovators touted products ranging from drywall repair to mobile apps to the crowd, organizers and judges in an event which is being compared to a hybrid of the competitive pitching television show “Shark Tank” and Jacksonville’s yearly innovation festival “One Spark.” “These innovators have the dream to transition from the garage to the global stage with the invention they’ve created,” said keynote speaker Wally Conway, host of the Home & Garden Show on a Jacksonville radio station. Click Here to View Event Photos After pouring over the ideas from 18 innovators, the judges named Zachary Schwartz – creator of a mobile app called IntoGo – winner of the top prize. Schwartz’s app turns the idea of ‘what can I do this weekend’ on its head with a swipe left and right for yes and no design that allows algorithms to find, regardless if you swipe left or right, what its users like to do in their spare time. “Date night ideas, dinner, live music, events – IntoGo is your solution,” Schwartz said in his winning pitch. “In less than 10 weeks we launch this app IntoGo, previous One Spark winners, local investors in a local software team. This app right here is now the fastest growing app in the history of Northeast Florida.” Schwartz won a $1,000 first prize and the opportunity to press palms with potential business partners. Staged at Orange Park Town Hall on Jan. 21, Pitch in the Park’s creators want it to become an annual affair. The festival’s creators, who are themselves entrepreneurs and business owners, created the event to market the budding innovators of Clay County as much as the innovators market themselves. The event marks the culmination of years of planning between Bob Hawkinson, co-owner of TLC Total Lawn Care, Brian Knight, head of the software company Pragmatic Works and Bill Garrison, president of the Clay County Development Corp. and others. “We were very pleased with it, we were very pleased with the turnout and who participated,” Garrison said. “The biggest thing of it all is the demonstration that Clay County has a strong system of business support and that’s really what we want to demonstrate and I think we were successful with that.” The group has already begun to move forward planning for next year’s event. They got public feedback after the event and discovered that both pitchers and attendees alike had some recommendations for the event. Garrison hopes to discuss those recommendations and use them to improve the festival for next year. “We had no idea with what to expect,” Garrison said. “The majority of the feedback was good. We now we need to improve on our sound and that’s going to mean a sound system. Bring the pitch component inside and makes it more controllable and everybody can hear better so they can improve the pitch component.” Garrison also believes that the event simply had “too much going on.” While pitchers had the stage, musicians strummed away in the background, which he said may have taken the focus away from some of the pitchers. Because the event is 40 percent judged through audience participation and the remainder through a select group of judges, he said this might have weakened the event. However, he said planning for 2018 begins immediately, so he hopes the event will be an even larger success then. Coming in second and winning $500 was Fleming Island entrepreneur Elaine Smith, founder of Clamour Theatre Company, while Wally Trudeau, inventor of a unique drywall repair tool, took third place and a $250 prize. Related Clay County's Pitch in the Park Hopes to Give County's Entrepreneurs the Stage for Success Clay County entrepreneurs are looking to give local innovators a chance to be in the spotlight, with the county’s first innovation festival, Pitch in the Park. Eighteen entrepreneurs were selected to present their startup ideas at 10 a.m. on January 21st at Town Hall Park in Orange Park. Each person will have two minutes to present their ideas to a panel of three judges and the audience. Officials Look to Spring Park Project as Key Piece in Economic Development GREEN COVE SPRINGS | The natural spring that is key to the city’s historic past could help lock in its future, say Green Cove Springs leaders and economic development officials projecting new business and industry could come into the community just as the mineral water now flows through Spring Park into the adjacent St. Johns River. New Co-working Space Opens in Orange Park of Clay County off of Kingsley and Park Avenues A new co-working space has opened up in Orange Park off of Kingsley Avenue and Park Avenue (US-17). Orange Park Medical Center Opens Level II Trauma Center Orange Park Medical Center opened its long-sought trauma center after receiving provisional status from the Florida Department of Health. For now, it’s the second trauma center serving the Northeast Florida region of Clay, Duval, Nassau, Baker and St. Johns counties. UF Health Jacksonville has a Level I trauma center serving the region. 'Pitch in the Park' to Give Inventors the Limelight A group of Clay County entrepreneurs has begun counting down to Clay County’s first ever festival that showcases local ingenuity innovation. Groundbreaking for Spring Park Pool Local public officials and private citizens gathered April 28, 2016 for the Official Groundbreaking Ceremony of the historic Spring Park renovation. Showing 0 Comment Comments are closed.