June 14, 2017
By MATT DEMIRS
LYNN — Innovators seeking guidance and opportunity gathered Wednesday night for Lynn’s first business and nonprofit idea pitch contest at KIPP Academy.
The competition, inspired by ABC’s Shark Tank, invited North Shore residents to apply for the chance to win money, and work with mentors, specialists, and other business owners to take their plans to the next level. The contest drew about 26 applicants, with 12 businesses participating.
Eight contestants presented their ideas to judges and audience members. Three cash prizes were awarded to first, second, and third place while the audience voted for a winner of their own who was also awarded a cash prize.
Lynn native Dharma Cortes, of Mi Plato es Su Plato, took home first place and the $1,000 check for her community kitchen business dedicated to improving the health and livelihood of low-income Latino residents.
“This is amazing,” Cortes said. “I’m so happy and surprised. I never imagined I would be able to win. It was a tough competition.”