The first step is the hardest: coming up with a compelling and sale-able idea. The second step is often as difficult: finding a way to finance it. i-hamptons, a networking organization and hub for entrepreneurs founded by Ashley John Heather earlier this year, put the “how do I find start-up money?” question to a panel of experts at a full-house gathering for members over the summer.
As a next step, i-hamptons is putting seed money on the table over the Thanksgiving weekend. Southampton Village Mayor Michael Irving will be there to kick off the organization’s first annual Shark Tank-style event, RipTide: $ink or $wim, at the Southampton Arts Center on Saturday, November 25 from 3.30 p.m. to 6 p.m. He will also deliver the prizes, which will include up to $25,000 for the winning start-ups. Four finalists out of the 20 local entrepreneurs who submitted new business ideas will be selected to pitch their ideas LIVE to a panel of distinguished “sharks” and a live audience estimated at around 150 people.
Each start-up will be asked to give a five-minute presentation, followed by a 10-minute Q&A. Distinguished panel members include Jeff Brodlieb, a Partner at Centripetal Capital Partners, David Bohnett, a philanthropist, technology entrepreneur and founder of Geocities, Kathleen King, author and founder of Tate’s Bake Shop, and Bion Bartning, entrepreneur and co-founder of EOS Beauty.
Everyone attending the event will play a part in picking the winners. The prize money will be awarded both to the panel’s and the audience’s favorite project. And that’s not all. In addition to start-up funding, winners will receive two important bonuses: mentoring time with panel members, since experienced support is a key factor in sustaining and growing a new business; and a further opportunity to raise more capital as needed. That’s to say nothing about the PR that will come with being a 2017 Hamptons Riptide winner!
Descriptions and videos of the start-ups submitted are currently posted on the i-hamptons website for a two-week voting period, at i-hamptons.com/riptide. Choose from a wide range of innovative products and services covering four categories—Health & Wellness, Food, Drink and Hospitality, Media and Technology, and Retail and Consumer products.
Anyone in the Hamptons community, as well as friends and contacts, can comment and rate each business idea. For those that can’t be at the finale event, Riptide will be streamed live at i-hamptons.com/live.
Ashley John Heather, a seasoned entrepreneur himself, moved to the Hamptons from Manhattan with his wife and children four years ago. Recognizing that more people are choosing to move out of the city and can run their businesses from anywhere—no formal office needed—Heather saw an opportunity to create what he calls an “innovation hub” in the Hamptons; to attract new entrepreneurs of all ages and grow existing year-round business for those that already exist, and to build a diverse and vibrant year-round community. He knows that business resources and a supportive environment are key elements in sustaining new ventures. His goal is to provide locally all the resources needed for start-ups, including co-working spaces and a supportive network of new and local entrepreneurs.
Thanks go to several sponsors who are supporting this event, including Dan’s Hamptons Media, WELJ 104.7, Southampton Social Club, Hamptons Luxury Liner, Farrell Fritz Attorneys, Omnigon and The Spur. Let’s all welcome and support the entrepreneurs participating in this first annual Riptide innovation event.
Participating start-ups in 2017 Hamptons RipTide: $ink or $wim include: Cobbler Concierge, CoCreate Media, Corktails, DOC POWER, DreamyKid, Five North Chocolate, Green Design, Hamptons Spirit Festival, ITM Corp, Keith’s Nervous Breakdown, Linkilinki, Little Vicky’s, Mica Board, Natural Science Solutions, Premex, Shlocker: the Shower Locker, Spirit Crowns, The Subtle Tea Company Sweet Vineyards, Tote Taxi.