StartRight! Women’s Business Plan 2013 Winners Announced
The Maryland Women's Business Center and Rockville Economic Development, Inc. announced the winners of the 10th annual StartRight! Women's Business Plan Competition on August 29, 2013 at The Power Conference.
The annual competition is supported with more than $23,000 in cash and in-kind prizes by Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy and Ecker; Comcast Business; The Maryland Biotechnology Center; Foster, Soltoff & Love; ActionCoach; Morgan Stanley; Citi; Walmart; Maryland Casino Business Investment Fund managed by Meridian Management Group; Intelligent Office; The Montgomery County Department of Economic Development; and Washington Post Capital Business.
This year’s $5,000 Grand Prize was awarded to Mercaris, founded by CEO Kellee James of Silver Spring, Maryland. Mercaris, a market data service and on-line trading exchange for organic and non-genetically-modified agricultural commodities, was selected from 42 business plans reviewed by 33 volunteer judges. “This was a great opportunity,” said Ms. James. She further noted that the cash prize was very helpful, but it was the connections she made that will boost her business.
“This year we had companies from as far as Richmond, Frederick and Baltimore representing a variety of industries including: food, government contracting, apparel, technology, retail, life sciences, health and wellness, and consulting,” noted Lori Gillen, Managing Director of The Maryland Women’s Business Center.
"We had some great start-up companies participate in StartRight! this year, and are already looking forward to next year's competition", said Laurie Boyer, Executive Director of REDI.