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Sep 3, 2019 12:51 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

RipTide Business Competition Returns For Third Year

RipTide's 2017 winner, Danielle Candela, owner of Tote Taxi, speaking at last year's competition. KEVIN WOOD
Sep 4, 2019 12:11 PM

This November, a venture competition sponsored by the group i-hamptons returns for its third year, with up to $50,000 in prize money for local entrepreneurs to kick-start their business ideas.

The “Shark Tank”-like contest, known as “RipTide: $ink or $wim,” is currently accepting applications from any start-up company based in Suffolk County, through September 25. Chosen applicants will then advance as semi-finalists and collaborate with presentation coaches to compose business pitch videos.

The video pitches will be online for three weeks, from October 9 to 30, during which time community members will get to vote for their favorite. The four videos with the most votes will then get to present their business ideas before a panel of distinguished judges at the finale event on November 9 at Southampton Arts Center.

Along with the monetary award, winners will also receive mentorship opportunities and in-kind services.

The list of judges will be announced in a few weeks, along with the list of companies that submitted applications, said Ashley Heather, founder of i-hamptons, a company that provides resources for local innovators to start their own businesses. He is also the founder of The Spur, a private club that offers shared workspace in Southampton and East Hampton.

“I am delighted that our RipTide venture competition is back for its third installment. It is great to see this innovation community continue to grow on the East End,” Mr. Heather said in a press release.

The finale will also feature products and services from other local start-ups and former RipTide winners in a showcase for guests to interact with.

“The whole purpose of the event is that the community gets something out of it,” said Barbara Roberts, a member of The Spur’s board of senior advisors. “I think Ashley should be highly commended. This is the third year, and it really is a way to highlight who are the great entrepreneurs and innovators who are doing things in Suffolk County, but particularly on the East End.”

Past winners have gone on to run profitable and growing businesses, like 2017 winners Tote Taxi and Five North Chocolate, and 2018 winners Wick and Wine and PedalShare, earning first and second places, respectively.

After winning the competition last year, PedalShare owners Chris Dimon and Patrick O’Donoghue established bike share networks in Southampton Village and Westhampton Beach, and will soon expand into Quogue.

“That’s our main motivation,” Ms. Roberts continued, “to create innovation and new economic opportunities and particularly start building some new kinds of companies and businesses to expand year-round employment opportunities, particularly for young people.”

Entrepreneurs interested in entering the contest may do so at www.i-hamptons.com/riptide2019.

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