A crowd of more than 100 people turned out for local entrepreneur coach Jay Rooke’s first Shark Tank-style event, dubbed “Seeding Sonoma.”
Six start-ups made their business case to the Ramekins audience and a panel of judges that included winery owner Jordan Kivelstadt; tequila importer Sal Chavez, who also owns Picazo restaurant and food truck; and Sonoma lawyer Mary Piasta.
The pitching companies were:
OM Gelato, founded by Mike Fahl, a former trainer at Parkpoint. His gelato line is low-carb, low glycemic and high protein.
SHEchange, founded by North bay entrepreneur Tracy Wyman. Her web shopping widget helps women influence big companies to adopt better policies on the issues consumer care about.
WOOM, founded by North Bay entrepreneur Teri Tito, is a child front carrier and backpack carrier made of bicycle helmet material to protect the heads of young children.
Stuff-N-Buns, founded by Eric Giacobazzi, is a start-up on-the-go food company based on soft buns with a variety of healthy fillings from different cultures.
San Francisco Linens was founded by Susan Verseh, who seeks to bring luxurious sheets and linens into the American bedroom at a lower price point than currently available.
“My inspiration in putting on the event is to highlight the entrepreneurial activity in the Valley and bring together cool companies, investors and the business community to create a more diverse economic ecosystem here in Sonoma,” said Rooke prior to the event.
After online voting, both a judge’s and audience winner was announced. OM Gelato took home both honors.
Rooke produces monthly Start-Up Grind networking events in Sonoma Valley and produces a podcast called “Know Pain Know Gain.”