Sixteen finalists are vying for a grand prize package valued at more than $50,000 that would help the winner get a business started in downtown Macon.
Although 20 finalists were chosen from 90 entries sent to The Gateway Initiative for the Macon Mogul business competition, four of those selected for various reasons either withdrew their entry or did not complete the business plan required, said Beth Dunwody, executive director of The Gateway Initiative.
Thursday night the finalists presented their ideas in an expo-style setting to share their business concepts with interested parties, the general public, potential investors and property owners.
“Over the next two weeks, the business plans will be reviewed and the winner selected,” Dunwody said.
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The winner will be announced at a news conference at 11:30 a.m. Jan. 26.
“Regardless of who the grand prize winner is, there may be some opportunities that come out of this so that we see more than one of these businesses actually become a reality downtown,” Dunwody said. “It’s a very diverse selection of small businesses.”
Macon Mogul business finalists
Ariane Technologies, Ariane Parham of Macon
Ariane Technologies is a business centered on planning, implementing and supporting technology within the health care industry. Ariane hopes to assist health care organizations with website creation, EHR implementation, network infrastructure support and advertising. Ariane Technologies believes that by creating an ecosystem of contracted businesses within the health care field, it will help physicians and the community.
BASE, Leighton Elliott of Macon
BioAnalysis Solutions Engineering (BASE) is a company focusing on the development of assistive and rehabilitative devices for people with disabilities. In addition to developing and improving currently existing products -- wheelchairs, crutches and hospital beds -- BASE also aims to reduce the amount of false insurance claims based on a concept known as injury mechanics. Injury mechanics uses mathematics and engineering principles to assist in the determination of injury falsehood.
Bell and Bear Pub, Steven Bell of Macon
The Bell & Bear Pub would bring the nostalgia and charm of an old Irish pub downtown, offering the best traditional Irish food, beer and spirits. Based on the Guinness business plan, Bell and Bear will provide a place where friends and strangers chat and where the world can slow down a bit so customers enjoy the food, music and company.
CrossFit City of Athletes, Debra Rose McMahon Levitt of Macon
CrossFit City of Athletes provides downtown Macon with a fitness center that encourages health and fitness by embracing the community aspect created by crossfit. Through the use of an experienced coaching environment and a competitive atmosphere, CrossFit City of Athletes comprises many of the proven crossfit methods to encourage success.
Dent Tricks, Troy Tarpley of Macon
Dent Tricks has been a mobile automobile paintless dent removal service provider since it was founded full time in 1998. Through the addition of a downtown physical location, Dent Tricks would provide customers with quality automobile restoration services. While increasing offerings to include services such as headlight restoration and windshield repair, Dent Tricks continues to provide valuable automotive restoration services to the community, while remaining 100 percent environmentally friendly.
Divas in Defense, Cole Parker of Atlanta
Divas in Defense empowers women of all ages with the training and tools imperative to their personal safety and the safety of their families. Through fun, instinctive learning women gain the knowledge to protect and arm themselves while gaining the confidence not to be victims. As an all-female self-defense, stun gun, firearm training group, Divas in Defense aims to educate, promote awareness, build self-esteem and give women the physical and mental tools they need to detect, avoid and escape potentially violent situations.
Dynes Media, Bobby McCullough of Macon
Dynes Media is a team of creative professionals focused on highlighting memories, talent and community, giving everyday people the opportunity to be in the spotlight through distinctive quality video, audio and design. Dynes Media offers premium production and star quality to individuals on a limited budget. With a goal of creating a one-stop shop for media options, Dynes Media helps emerging artists, nonprofit organizations or people planning for their big day by providing cinematic videos, trendsetting design and pristine audio.
MaconArtScapes, Lauren O’Quinn of Centerville
MaconArtScapes is an art gallery that aims to help emerging artists in the Middle Georgia area. While showcasing local artists, MaconArtScapes also will focus on the growth of new artists by housing a studio classroom in the back of the gallery to offer workshops and classes on media including pottery, encaustic wax painting, handmade jewelry techniques and the basics of drawing.
Macon Beer Co., Jeremy Knowles of Macon
Macon Beer Co. is a microbrewery in business to manufacture fresh, high-quality beer for Macon and surrounding regional markets. Macon Beer will pursue an all-malt flagship ale as well as a dark ale, pale ale, seasonal and celebratory styles. The products will be sold as a premium beer to pubs, bars and restaurants in the city of Macon and in surrounding Bibb and Houston counties. Macon Beer will also have a tap room where customers can enjoy tastings and tours.
The Millstone, John Buckner of Macon
The Millstone will serve primarily Americana style cuisine-focusing on recipes derived from products of the mill as well as other local organic produce. Food offerings will be diverse providing something for everyone. Products of the grist mill will be the common thread including offerings for breakfast, lunch, dinner and after-hours. The Millstone also will offer quality craft beers, wine, traditional liquor drinks and mill-product inspired tapas.
Ocmulgee Traders, Steven Bell of Macon
Ocmulgee Traders combines an urban grocery market and unique gift store. By serving downtown loft residents, intown residents and Mercer students, this gourmet market offers upscale convenience, fun, funky giftware and local art and wares. This pedestrian friendly store also offers fresh, local produce, meats, dairy and packaged food items. The European café will have daily breakfast specials, sandwiches, salads and soups and a selection of wine and beer.
Once Upon a Time, Shannon Archibald of Macon
Once Upon a Time is a one-stop wedding shop, wedding venue and reception site located in downtown Macon. By incorporating many of the local businesses that offer wedding services, Once Upon a Time provides an effective way to eliminate much of the stress associated with planning a wedding.
Robin Cook Studios, Robin Cook of Macon
Robin Cook Studios offer a full array of photography services capable of utilizing a variety of sets to accommodate services ranging from group photo shoots to publishable print material. The studio also will offer an area for makeup and hair artists to work in addition to studio rental space for other photographers. By offering a studio capable of many functions, Robin Cook Studios provides photography services unlike anyone else in the area.
SEG, Erika Salter of Atlanta
Salter Entertainment Group LLC (SEG) is an award-winning multimedia production company specialized in producing corporate communications, commercials and documentary film for brands and businesses. SEG creates, develops and produces corporate video communications, broadcast television commercials, online video commercials and documentary films.
Shawaki Trading and Gallery, Robert Fisher of Macon
Shawaki Trading & Gallery will represent the principles communicated in its name as an art gallery of Georgia Native American art and artifacts along with serving as an educational facility offering pottery, painting and seminars. The business’ goal is to become the keystone to developing a Native American cultural hub for Macon through festivals, scientific exploration and international marketing.
TailsSpin, Colby Branum of Savannah
TailsSpin offers customers high-end quality food and supplies for those important members of the family: dogs and cats. In a little more than three years, TailsSpin has established itself as a recognizable, trusted brand because of its knowledgeable staff, competitive pricing, creative marketing, personal attention to its customers and building and fostering support within the local pet welfare community.
Information on businesses provided by The Gateway Initiative.