We are so excited to share the winners for the OnDeck Seal of Approval Contest. For the second year in a row, OnDeck worked with Barbara Corcoran to give three entrepreneurs a $10,000 prize, courtesy of OnDeck, and a one-on-one coaching session with Barbara, to take their businesses to the next level. We know how challenging both access to capital and marketing a business can be. That’s why we designed this contest with Barbara specifically for busy and passionate business owners.
OnDeck launched the contest in mid-October and asked small business owners “How would you use $10,000 and advice from Barbara Corcoran to grow your business?”
We received over 1,000 entries from amazing and dedicated small business owners across the country, but we could only pick three winners. With Barbara’s help, the finalists were chosen based on how compelling, unique and practical their response was. We were also looking for entrepreneurs who demonstrated a passion to grow their business.
The winners of the 2016 OnDeck Seal of Approval Contest are three innovative small businesses from diverse backgrounds: Congratulations to Andrew Buerger from B’more Organic, Rachelle and Paul Baron from Beau & Belle Littles, and Geoffrey Dean from Hardball Cider.
Read more about the winners:
Name: Andrew Buerger
Time in Business: 4 years
Business Website: www.BmoreOrganic.com
B’more Organic, an organic smoothie company founded by Jennifer and Andrew Buerger, promotes healthy living with a socially conscious mission. Dedicated to local, family-owned sustainable farming, B’more Organic smoothies use Skyr, an Icelandic yogurt packed with protein. One percent of sales benefit Jodi’s Climb for Hope, a non-profit dedicated to funding the development of a new viable treatment for breast cancer. The company’s biggest challenge is educating consumers about the brand while competing in the increasingly popular health food space. With Barbara’s advice and the $10,000, B’more Organic hopes to gain marketing techniques to help move more of their products off the shelf.
Beau & Belle Littles
Names: Rachelle and Paul Barron
Time in Business: 1.5 years
Business Website: www.beauandbellelittles.com
Beau & Belle Littles, maker of reusable swim diapers, started out in 2015 in Loveland, CO. What began as a few well-designed and adorable swim alternatives for Rachelle and Paul Baron’s water-loving six-month-old, Beau, quickly developed into a top-selling Amazon product – the Nageuret Swim Diaper – which grossed $250,000 in the first year. The eco-friendly diaper manufacturer also donates 5% of their profits to Compassion International to help bring children and their parents out of poverty worldwide. Leveraging Barbara’s advice, the Baron family is looking to expand their reach, develop new product lines, and pinpoint the most cost-effective way to expand.
Name: Geoffrey Deen
Time in Business: 3 years
Business Website: www.hardballcider.com
HardBall Cider, driven by founder Geoffrey Dean’s passion for baseball and real hard cider, began three years ago in Mount Bethel, PA. The company’s three varieties of cider can now be found in the area’s local restaurants and, appropriately, in many of Pennsylvania’s major and minor league baseball stadiums. As an avid Shark Tank fan, Geoffrey hopes that Barbara can offer guidance on how to plan for controlled expansion across multiple market segments and to overcome his challenge of scaling production.