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Prize worth $100K up for grabs in 'Shark Tank'-style retail competition

The winner will receive free rent, build-out, mentoring and marketing to start their own businesses
Credit: RetailNext

ST. LOUIS — A retail competition will award one local entrepreneur free resources valued at $100,000 that they can use to start their own business.

Entry into the RetailNextSTL competition launched April 2 and ends on May 15. The competition likens itself to the reality TV show "Shark Tank" but focuses on new ideas in the retail industry, according to a press release.

Entrants who apply online and are selected to move onto the next round will be assigned to a mentor who will help then fine-tune their concept and business plan.

The next round is a "big pitch" in June, where contestants will give a live presentation on their idea. 

The public will vote on the top five concepts and the winner will be announced in late June. They'll receive free rent, build-out, mentoring and marketing valued at more than $100,000.

Leslie Magrewn, last year's winner, opened her business at the Meadows at Lake St. Louis in 2019.

“More than the money, this opportunity has inspired me to try new things, offer new classes, expand online, get involved more in the community, and introduced me to successful retail entrepreneurs," Magrew said in a press release. "While everything has not gone exactly as I had expected, the learning has been invaluable.”

The Meadows at Lake St. Louis, its owner, Cohen Equities, and entrepreneur Craig Kaminer are sponsoring the competition.

"For anyone who has lost a job or was been planning to start something when the pandemic hit, no worries...this is still a great time to plan and launch when things improve," Kaminer said.

The Meadow General Manager Alysia Kerkove said the competition can be a great opportunity for entrepreneurs during this time. 

“Despite mandatory store closures, there are thousands of people not working and planning what they will do when things get back to normal," Kerkove said. "We hope that RetailNEXTSTL 2020 will be an opportunity for them to think about the better times to come and make their entrepreneurial dream come true at the same time.”

For more information or to apply, visit The Meadows' website.

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