Stateline entrepreneurs get a chance to showcase what they believe is the next big idea at the FastPitch competition, the Stateline’s version of the TV show Shark Tank.
On Wednesday, at NIU’s EIGERlab in Rockford, local innovators showed off their creations in the hopes of securing a cash prize.
This is the 11th year for the FastPitch Competition-and it lives up to its name.
Contestants only have three minutes to impress a panel of judges.
The goal: to win $5,000.
There was no shortage of innovation from the competitors this year.
Some of the ideas tonight included a Bluetooth speaker that doubles as a cooler, and a TSA approved travel kit that lets you pack some adult beverages for those long flights.
Entrepreneurs we spoke with say they saw areas where there was a need and decided to fill it.
“Our whole angle again is to have travelers save money and travel with a little bit more style than a Ziploc bag,” said Elisabeth Stecki from Whineware.
“My daughter wanted a cooler with a sound system in it for her annual float trip down the wolf river,” said Michael Roncke who invented the iRockCooler. “And I thought, well yeah, we can build that for you.”
This year’s winner is the Anestand.
It allows anesthesiologists to place their medical devices on a small table next to a patient.
Last year’s winner sold their product, the BEAUTIscoop in all 50 states within 6 months of winning FastPitch, and it even appeared on Good Morning America.
Others have appeared on the Home Shopping Network, and a Rockford couple even appeared on Shark Tank and received a deal.