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Finalists selected for Made in FredVA contest
Five business ideas to compete for $10,000 prize

FREDERICKSBURG -- The five finalists have been selected for the second-annual Made in FredVA business startup competition.

Plants Map, Living Soil, BYOB Garage, Eternity Blooms and Fraser Wood Elements will pitch their business ideas to a panel of distinguished local entrepreneurs at the Nov. 19 event at the Inn at the Old Silk Mill in Fredericksburg.

Each finalist will have five minutes to pitch his or her idea, followed by 10 minutes of questions from the judges. The event is patterned after the popular "Shark Tank" television show.

The winner will receive $10,000 toward business startup expenses. There will also be a $500 people's choice cash award. Potential investors are encouraged to come to the event and hear the ideas being pitched.

The public is welcome to attend the Nov. 19 event, which will begin at 5:30 p.m. Tickets will be sold for a nominal price.

Below is a little detail about each of the finalists. A video showcasing the five will be available sometime in the next few weeks on the Made in FredVA pages on Facebook and Twitter.

● Plants Map, Bill Blevins. Will help gardening enthusiasts organize and share their collections online, and purchase interactive markers to help observers learn about the plants.

● Fraser Wood Elements, David Fraser. This existing store at 820 Caroline St. in downtown Fredericksburg plans an expansion that will offer woodworking classes and shop space that will allow artisans to create products to be sold at the store.

● Living Soil, Sarah Perry. Will offer bags of fresh, living compost produced at Downtown Greens in Fredericksburg.

● BYOB Garage, Dave Ellis. This will be a bricks-and-mortar location where motorcycle enthusiasts can get the skills and equipment they need to fix and improve their motorcycles.

● Eternity Blooms, Annie Tremper. This will be a business that creates seed balls made of flower seeds, soil and ashes of loved ones to create a beautiful planted tribute.

The Next Generation of Business Leaders, an affiliate of the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce, is organizing the Made in FredVA event. The NextGen board selected the five finalists from the pool of applicants.

“We were really impressed with the creativity and diversity of this year’s finalists,” said Carter Fitch, who chairs the NextGen Board of Directors. “It should be a great event.”

The five finalists will pitch their business ideas to the four judges at the Nov. 19 event, which will include a reception and networking. The final judges at the Made in FredVA event will be:

● Adam Fried, CEO of Atlantic Builders Ltd.

● Joy Crump, executive chef and partner at Foode

● Abbas Haider, CEO and president of Aspetto Inc.

● Sameer Shalaby, managing partner, Select Venture Partner LLC (the winner of Made in FredVA will be given an opportunity to pitch to this early-stage investment fund)

The prizes are made possible through generous sponsorships from Virginia Partners Bank, the Stafford County Economic Development Authority, the Next Generation of Business Leaders, the Fredericksburg Economic Development Authority, Kiwanis of Fredericksburg, Cary Street Partners, Marstel-Day, Atlantic Builders, Muster Me, For Anything, and the Inn at the Old Silk Mill.

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Pouches' Community Corner

Pouches Visits the Past


If Pouches' experience at History Camp is any indication, your son or daughter will enjoy joining Washington Heritage Museums and the George Washington Foundation for History Camp in Fredericksburg. The week-long day camp will be held June 25-29, from 9:00 a.m. to noon each day.

Young historians discover American history with hands-on experiences as they walk in the footsteps where the history of Fredericksburg, and a budding America, was created. The camp complements the history taught in classrooms with activities such as soap making, code breaking, colonial crafts, penmanship and much more.