In late November, Ben Conard and his business Five North Chocolate (healthy, fair trade dark chocolate snacks) earned a $10,000 grant in the inaugural i-hamptons Riptide $ink or $wim startup competition, a Shark Tank-inspired pitch event. In addition to the startup funds, the entrepreneur received an annual membership at Southampton’s first co-working space—The Spur—and WorkHouse in NYC, as well as valuable support and mentoring from that evening’s experienced panel of judges.
Before the actual event at Southampton Arts Center, Conard and 19 other local entrepreneurs submitted new business ideas which were presented in videos on the i-hamptons website. The videos generated more than 3,000 online votes in the two-week period leading up the big night. Here, Conard talks to Nikki on the Daily host Nikki Daily about his Riptide experience and his plans for Five North Chocolate.