Aspiring entrepreneurs make pitch at business competition - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Aspiring entrepreneurs make pitch at business competition

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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

Eight aspiring entrepreneurs gave it their best shot Wednesday as they pitched their ideas at the second annual Business Pitch Competition. 

Blake Caldarera's "Artificial Inspirations," came from working hot summers in the landscaping industry.

"It was so hot and I was trimming this bush and thought wouldn't it be great if it just stayed nice and didn't grow and didn't need to be trimmed. And that's when I thought of the idea of artificial landscaping," Caldarera said.

Others went the tech route, like Matthew Thibodeaux's "Findyoursportsequipment.com." He describes it as the tripadvisor.com for sporting goods.

"It searches a database of all the websites rather than just one website that two or three products," said Thibodeaux.

The winners not only get $1,000 in start up money from the Angels of Southwest Louisiana, but also six months free rent in the SEED Center Incubator. 

Kenneth Williamson said his time would be spent out in the field with his restaurant on wheels. He calls it "Paw Paw's Place" and said it would cater to the people working in lower Cameron Parish.

"In Cameron they have few options. You have Brown's Grocery Store and the recreation center that they can get food from. We are going to come in there with the concept of a restaurant and food truck," Williamson said.

Another idea catering to hungry customers is "Waitr, Inc." It's a smart phone app that would cut out the middleman at restaurants and allow the customer to place orders from their phone.

"We talked to 200 people and every one of them said they would download the app if it was available today," Chris Meaux said.

Meaux said six restaurants have already shown interest in helping test the App out and said it's all about saving both parties time and money.

"The idea is that it makes both the restaurant's life easier and the consumer's life easier because it creates a lasting connection between the two," Meaux explained.

Win or lose, Meaux said they're set to launch their App later this summer.

Meanwhile, officials at the SEED Center said they expect to announce the winners no later than Friday.

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