Lakeland’s Shark Tank: Which local entrepreneur will take home $10,000?

Catapult Lakeland’s Launch Night in November 2020. | Photo via @catapult.lakeland

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Lakeland, welcome to the tank. 🦈  Tonight, five local entrepreneurs are asking for $10,000 in micro-grant funding at Catapult Lakeland’s Launch Night. From a techy glove to more Kombucha on tap, cast your vote for the entrepreneur you think would even impress Mr. Wonderful, himself.


Rut Patel at Catapult Lakeland. | Photo via @patelrut

Rut Patel | Voyager Industries: Just call this Polk State College graduate “Captain Planet,” as Rut is looking to create solutions to better protect the world and solve engineering problems for companies by the use of drones + artificial intelligence. Rut is asking for $10,000 in funding to purchase a laser falcon drone that detects gas leaks — allowing his company to expand into gas and oil industries

Chase Sellmeyer | Perigon USA: This FSC Moc graduate is asking for $10,000 to purchase the hardware + software his LLC is currently renting. His company creates virtual reality training videos

Sow Exotic baby jaboticaba plant. | Photo via @jackfrancesstrba

Brittany Brandi | Sow Exotic: The owners of this local, family-run plastic-free plant nursery are asking for an undisclosed amount to purchase a soil batch mixer dispenser — which could speed production times by four and decrease additional costs in labor.

Kevin Rackatoo | Gesture Control Glove: Straight out of a sci-fi flick, this Florida Polytechnic University student is pitching for $2,500 to help with his research and prototype of a wearable wifi-connector gesture recognition glove


Wendy Johnson in front of her new storefront, Krazy Kombucha. | Photo via @krazykombucha

Wendy Johnson | Krazy Kombucha: ICYMI, this Lakelander just announced the opening of her new storefront on S. Florida Ave., tentatively set for April. The brewery will feature 18 flavors on tap and Wendy is pitching for $10,000 to help increase Kombucha production by adding a tap line to her fridge system. 

These entrepreneurs will have roughly 10-minutes to pitch their ideas + anywhere from 0-5 people could go home with the money. The “judges” are representatives from local banks (like MIDFLORIDA Credit Union) and while funds don’t need to be paid back, chosen entrepreneurs are asked to invest 25% of the investment back into the fund later.

Ready to see if these locals sink or swim in the tank? RSVP here or below, to watch in-person or online and find out which entrepreneurs are the next Mark Cubans’ + which ones’ you’d say “for those reasons I am out.” 

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