Entrepreneurs: Meet winners and judges in Alaska’s version of ‘Shark Tank’

EntrepreneurshipEver watch ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’ on TV? Budding young entrepreneurs make their business pitches to the “sharks—tough, self-made, multi-millionaire and billionaire tycoons” looking for the best new products in America.

Alaska’s own version, all be it less “shark” and more support and education, is the decade-old Alaska Business Plan Competition, held each spring. The same group hosts a boot camp for entrepreneurs and free talks from visiting experts throughout the year. Business plan judges include local bankers, entrepreneurs, business educators and angel investors.

Winners this year were young people with plans for an environmentally sound, sealed fueling system, an aeroponics organic  growing system, and a high-speed personal watercraft.

Past winners have included drone developers, plans for an indoor shooting range and a peonies flower nursery.

Wednesday, we’ll hear from two judges in this year’s competition, and two winning entrepreneurs on their plans and where and how they developed their ideas.

We’ll also introduce the AEDC’s upcoming Entrepreneurship Week and mini-Maker Faire planned for late July.

If you think you’ve got a killer business idea, this show’s for you. If you’re a tinkerer and a problem solver, find out how to turn those innate talents into income.


In the studio

  • Mike Martin, business plan judge, Northrim Bank
  • Jon Bittner, business plan judge, Anchorage Economic Development Corporation (AEDC)
  • Harry Leffler, 1st place winner, Aknuna Technologies
  • Brian McKinnon, 1st place winner, Aknuna Technologies
  • Jason Smith, 2nd place winner, Alaska Natural Organics




  • Call 550-8433 (Anchorage) or 1-888-353-5752  (statewide) during the live broadcast (2:00 – 3:00pm)
  • Send e-mail to hometown@alaskapublic.org before, during or after the live broadcast (e-mails may be read on air)
  • Post your comment or question below (comments may be read on air)

HOST: Kathleen McCoy

LIVE BROADCAST: Wednesday, June 26, 2013. 2:00 – 3:00 pm (Alaska time)

REPEAT BROADCAST: Wednesday, June 26, 2013. 7:00 – 8:00 pm (Alaska time)

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