Shark Tank Inspired Competition Comes To Danville

Danville, VA - Have you ever wanted to take your business idea to the TV show Shark Tank? Well Friday in Danville, entrepreneurs got their chance at a local version, hoping to win some cash to build their dream.

IdeaFest didn't make national television, but the concept is similar, and entrepreneurs traveled from as far as California all making their best pitch to win.
There wasn't any suspenseful music, no national spotlight but like Shark Tank entrepreneurs did get a chance to pitch their ideas for a chance to grow their business.

"Our goal for RunCap is to create a runners' handicap system similar to that of a golf handicap," said Brad McDarmont, Founder of RunCap.
McDarmont thought of the idea for RunCap a few weeks ago. He wants to create a mobile app and website that helps runners. But first he needs money so he came to IdeaFest.
"I thought it was a really cool idea, I'm glad Danville is doing something like it," said McDarmont.
25 teams competed to win money for their new business. They each had only 2 minutes to explain their concept.
"They pitch to a panel of judges and they basically identify their concept, how they are going to get it to market, how they are going to grow it, how they are going to scale it," said Jake Daniel, IdeaFest Organizer.
Like the TV show, taking home cash makes a big difference for these start-ups.
"I think it will be monumental for the companies because...all of these ideas are very fresh and they don't have any backing whatsoever so far, so this will be a great way for them to get off the ground and have something concrete for the idea itself," said Daniel.
The winner walks away with $3,000, something McDarmont really hopes to win.
"We're just going to put everything back into getting the website, the app, the algorithm, getting all that built," said McDarmont.
The money comes from grants and local organizations.
IdeaFest organizers say they hope to keep doing this event every year.