What could you do for your business if you had an extra $20,000?
Kitsap Bank wants to know. The Port Orchard-based firm will begin its third annual Edg3 Fund competition that will reward one small business with $20,000. The competition recognizes entrepreneurs whose businesses have a social, commercial, and environmental benefit to their communities. Kitsap has a loan office in Bellevue. Last year’s finalists included Issaquah based company Combat Flip Flops.
The four-week Edg3 Fund application period runs July 1 through July 29. Ten to 15 semifinalists will be chosen August 19; after that, a panel of judges and a public vote will cut the list to five finalists. The winner will be chosen November 17 during a live event at the Kitsap Conference Center in Bremerton, during which the finalists will give a presentation about their companies.
Kitsap Bank will host an informational workshop for interested competitors at 10 a.m. on June 29 at Olympic College-Poulsbo Campus.
“Last year’s competition produced 70 applicants representing a wide range of industries, stretching from the Olympic Peninsula to our state capital,” said Tony George, Kitsap Bank’s chief operating officer, in a statement. “Some very creative and hardworking entrepreneurs shared their unique stories with us, and we look forward to meeting even more of these innovative companies this year.”
OlyKraut, an Olympia company that hand-crafts sauerkrauts, pickles, and sipping brines with locally sourced organic ingredients, won the competition last year. Owner Sash Sunday is using the prize to build a customized cooler for her business.
“The purpose of the Edg3 Fund is to support businesses that are looking at people, place and planet — the triple bottom line. And those businesses, I firmly believe, are how we are going to grow our regional economy in a healthier way,” Sunday said in a statement.