Bob Evans, Shark Tank star team up to fund veteran-owned businesses

Matt Saintsing
May 24, 2018 - 1:20 pm

Photo Courtesy of Bob Evans Farms

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Bob Evans Farms is offering three $25,000 grants and professional mentoring sessions to veteran-owned businesses, and they’re teaming up with a Shark Tank co-star.

The Ohio-based food company announced its second annual Heroes to CEOs program Tuesday, which will award three veteran-entrepreneurs business grants, and a three day all-expenses-paid trip to New York City, for a mentoring session with Daymond John, founder and CEO of FUBU apparel and regular shark on the ABC show Shark Tank.

Mike Townley, the CEO and president of Bob Evans Farms said the program was launched last year to help support business-owners who served their country. Heroes to CEOs is part of a company-wide Our Farm Salutes initiative, which began in 2016 as a way to say thanks to veterans, and their families.

“As we saw last year with our amazing winners, veterans have innovative ideas but sometimes have trouble getting started,” said Mike Townsley, “Learning how to run a business and securing the required financing can be a challenge. We’re beyond proud of what veterans accomplish.”

Applications opened May 22, and will remain open through June 27, 2018 at 11:59pm. Further details can be found here.

A panel of judges will score each of the entries based on reason, presentation, feasibility, opportunity and potential for success. The 10 best entries will then advance to a celebrity panel, including last year’s winners, for an additional round of scoring.

Last year’s winners include Carson Goodale, of FanFood, a Chicago-based company, who developed an app that allows event attendees to order concession food from their seats. Winners also included Jerry Martin of Arkansas-based vegetable farm VetVeggies, and Charlynsa Scales of Mutts Sauce, a Dayton, Ohio, barbecue sauce company

The winners will be announced Sept. 5.

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