Chamber's version of Shark Tank could mean big bucks for winner


CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Ten innovators are competing for two $2,500 prizes in the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce's Perfect Pitch contest.The winners not only receive cash but gain access to business mentors to help advance their business ideas.The finals are being held at 2 p.m. Tuesday Nov. 19 at the American Theatre on King Street. There's an after party scheduled to celebrate.The finals are open to the public and tickets are only $35. "This year's competitors are presenting a mix of innovative business and product concepts," said Pennie Bingham, Charleston Metro Chamber's Sr. VP of Business Advancement. "This finale will showcase the dynamic thinking inherent to entrepreneurs in the Charleston area."Perfect Pitch is the Chamber's spin on the ABC show Shark Tank, where contestants compete for starter money and pitch their business concepts to a panel of investors. Ten local finalists were coached by local entrepreneurs to help craft business pitches and be ready to stand before the judges in a question and answer session. The judges are Deona Smith from the The DeJo Group, Bobby Pearce with Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP, Steve Parker of{} Levelwing, Michael Moody from Force Protection, and Lenna McDonald of Balnakeil Ventures.Judges will choose two winners: one for a business concept and a second for an active early stage business. The two winners each get $2,500 and access to a team of mentors for one year. Finalists will not be revealed until event day but there is one special guest we can tell you about. The Emcee for the event is ABC News 4's Dean Stephens.Wile the judges are looking over the pitches from their mystery finalists, the audience will get advice on start-up lending practices from a panel of lenders including officials from Suntrust and the Angel Capital Group. If you're interested in seeing a business in the making, you can buy tickets by clicking here.