Entrepreneur wins $1,000 at Lexington contest with her idea for specialty baby bottle

ctruman@herald-leader.comNovember 22, 2013 

A baby bottle that will allow on-the-go families to easily mix formula won $1,000 at a contest Friday at Commerce Lexington in which 11 start-up companies pitched their wares.

LaShana Harris of Babylocity LLC hopes to have her specialty bottle — into which powdered formula is loaded into one compartment and water into another, with a removable shelf separating them until needed — in retailers such as Babies 'R' Us in 2014.

Harris said the bottle is Babylocity's debut product for parents and caregivers and that in the future the company will focus on "trying to make things more practical and easy when you're on the go."

"We're working on creating a lifestyle brand for the active mother, and this is only the beginning," Harris said.

At stake during the 3rd annual Stand Up for Your Start-Up Pitch Competition was $1,000 for the winner, $500 for the company finishing second.

Scante.net, which develops mobile customer experience applications that allow companies to drive revenue and provide better customer service, won second place. PowerTech Energy's water treatment device that desalinates and purifies water quickly and with greater energy efficiency was third.

Fourth was Seth McBee and his company Seke with an LED-light safety vest that can provide custom colors and light patterns.

McBee's "You Saw Me" vest could be sold to government, industry and individual consumers, McBee said in his pitch, replacing the ubiquitous neon orange safety vests.

"I want to revolutionize ... this visibility industry," he said.

Representatives got five minutes each to pitch their ideas before an expert panel consisting of Seth Salomon of Salomon & Company financial, Regina Carroll of Service Corps of Retired Executives and Larry Forester, vice president of commercial lending at Community Trust Bank.

The competition was part of a week of activities held for Global Entrepreneurship Week. The week's activities were organized by a coalition of small business organizations.

Other companies presenting their ideas were 5spot Shirts, which uses $5 from each purchase "to create a random act of kindness;" Sebastian aural software for college music students; Brian Wright's internal structural system for homes to protect them from wind damage; and 3CMovement, which sells specialty blanket and pillow combinations and also donates them to people in hospice, homeless veterans and women in the adult entertainment industry.

Orthopedic Lean Consultants wanted to team with hospitals to reduce costs and improve outcomes associated with joint replacement operations, while Multicultural Arts Recreations Services and its creator, J.W. Rhodes, pitched an anti-bullying program that could be marketed to schools across the United States. Grant Weherly pitched an online system to help patients control attention deficit disorder.

Cheryl Truman: (859) 231-3202. Twitter: @CherylTruman

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