eighth small business grant

Moth Attack is the Winner of the Idea Cafe’s Eighth Small Business Grant

We take pleasure in announcing that Megan Dean, the owner of Moth Attack, is the recipient of the current Small Business Grant. With her impressive enthusiasm and love for building and designing custom steel bicycles and components, she instantly grabbed the hearts of our regulars and stood out amongst hundreds of other small business owners. Congratulations!

Meet the Five Finalists and Vote for Grant Winner

Having the chance to vote for their favorite business idea, Idea Café regulars made their choice and selected the five finalists out of the list of our stellar semi-finalists. We are honored to present you the people and companies who will compete for winning the grant:

Semi-finalist Q&A: Kick Start Pro

Kick Start Pro is a personal wake-up call/calendar management service for working mothers. Kick Start Pro's personal service is designed to engage clients in conversation and make getting their feet from the bed to the floor the easiest part of their day.

How did you come up with the idea for your business?

Long ago, as a young mother of three, I found that hitting the snooze alarm didn’t make me happier, it just wasted time and made for a more stressful morning because then I found myself behind. Once I began waking up an hour before the kids, I found myself to be a much nicer person in the morning, and actually accomplishing goals I had been putting off.

Semi-finalist Q&A: Bamboo Bike Studio

Bamboo Bike Studio is a working laboratory that develops natural materials science, design, and engineering, educational programs that create a more conscious, participatory consumer-product relationship, and sustainable personal transportation alternatives. Bamboo is our current focus material, and the bicycle is our focus form of transportation.

How did you come up with the idea for your business?

BBS co-founder Marty Odlin conceived the idea of a bamboo bicycle after visiting China and witnessing the power and scale of bamboo use in structural scaffolding; when he got back to the US, he wanted to build his own bike, and realized bamboo would be a perfect and easy material to work with. At the same time, Sean Murray and Justin Aguinaldo were working with the Bamboo Bike Project at Columbia University.

Semi-finalist Q&A:A Festive Touch

A Festive Touch is a new florist in town. They offer the most trendy and unique flower arrangements, while also making the more traditional customers happy. We also carry giftware, candles, gift baskets, and gourmet chocolates.

How did you come up with the idea for your business?

My mom and I both grew up in the business. Her mom owned a flower shop when she was younger, then after selling it , her mom continued to work in the floral industry for years. My mom, has the same story. She owned her own shop for 5 years. But sadly she had to close it after having 4 kids, all in school, and my dad worked out of town. The shop became so busy, so fast she couldn't stand being away from us kids all the time.

Semi-finalist Q&A:Sheila+Sharon's Cookies

Sheila+Sharon's Cookies makes handcrafted cookies and brownies using as many local, organic, and fair trade ingredients as possible.

How did you come up with the idea for your business?

I came up with the idea for a dessert business after the failure of my previous business, a consignment shop in 2007. After going back and forth with different dessert business ideas, I finally settled on cookies. I like cookies and the idea that you can take a basic cookie and add so many different ingredients to it to dress it up.

Semi-finalist Q&A: GreenHab

GreenHab wants to better the environment by providing consultations to homeowners to show them how to make their home more energy efficient and sustainable; to educate them on the benefits of going green and the tax incentives offered to do so.

What makes your business unique? Why do you think it will be a success?

I know that there are policies for new buildings to make sure they are constructed to be more energy efficient and reduce the impact on the environment; but there aren't any policies for existing buildings. Not only do I want to help homeowners greenhab their home, I am also helping push policy further in our government to turn some focus onto the existing residential sector.

Semi-finalist Q&A: Bellybuttonboutique.com

Bellybuttonboutique.com is the parent company that runs the website www.bellybuttonboutique.com. It is an online store that provides advice and products of comfort for pre and postnatal women.

What are some of your top business-related accomplishments, or business lessons learned?

Starting a business is an accomplishment on its own. We sometimes get regimented and accept status quo. A support system doesn't always exist amongst friends and family. When you can just push through the doubt and succeed to the point of getting your first sale its gives you a sense of pride that is indescribable.

Semi-finalist Q&A: Sapona Green Building Center, LLC

Sapona offers a "one-stop-shop" for green home and business solutions. They sell and install cork and bamboo flooring, Icestone countertops, and high-efficiency plumbing. Additionally, they offer services for home efficiency upgrades like blown insulation and HERS rating.

How did you come up with the idea for your business?

The idea for our business came from a local growing demand for renewable energy support. New governmental incentives (up to 65% off!), a growing green community, and technological developments have primed the solar and wind industry for a rapid launch...

Semi-finalist Q&A: Sobo

Sobo is fitness for your mind and body. The first of its kind to combine a fun, dance aerobics workout with personal development, confidence building and shattering the barrier between you and your "best self". With Sobo, you can achieve complete optimum health in mind, body and soul.

How did you come up with the idea for your business?

I have been club dancing for years and many women would ask me to teach them what I do, so I finally decided to start doing that. While teaching my students, I would praise and compliment my students and it would make them feel so good.

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