More than 75 local entrepreneurs got the chance to get their feet wet Tuesday during the Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation’s inaugural “Dolphin Tank” networking event at the county’s Department of Housing and Community Development headquarters.
The event, hosted in partnership with Springboard Enterprises and the Maryland Technology Development Corporation, also gave five companies from the Economic Development Corporation Accelerator Program the opportunity to pitch their businesses to a panel of seasoned entrepreneurs, investors and influencers, all dedicated to building high-growth companies.
Panelists and attendees shared what they liked about each company’s pitch, provided feedback on what the company’s next steps should be, and made suggestions about who the company should connect with to improve its business model and grow.
“There’s nothing worse than having a great idea and nobody picking up on it because you don’t know how to get their attention,” said EDC President and CEO Jim Coleman. “Sometimes, entrepreneurs don’t know what they don’t know and need help in getting on the right track. There is no time for cooling off in Prince George’s County these days. There are too many people looking for what your business is selling for you to not brag about your company, because when you are successful, the county is successful and jobs are plentiful. It’s just that simple.”
For more than a decade, Springboard has served as a nationwide platform for recruiting, coaching, showcasing, promoting and supporting women entrepreneurs who want to grow their companies exponentially.
The EDC Accelerator is a program that supports Prince George’s County startups that have high-growth potential and are developing innovative products or services.
The Dolphin Tank is a supportive, vision-expanding experience that allows entrepreneurs to get real-time advice from knowledgeable industry experts who can help them change their message to get the attention their business needs and deserves.
“The Economic Development Corporation is the biggest cheerleader and champion that I have seen for small businesses around the country,” said Amy Millman, Springboard president. “When companies are in the throes of building their business, they are so involved in all of the details that they forget the most important reason of why they started the business — to make them successful.”