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2016 Carroll Biz Challenge finalist: Two McDaniel students hope to brew up a win for kombucha make their mark in Biz Challenge

Carroll County Times

August 6,2016


When McDaniel students Tyler Van Dyke and Jeb Shingler make their pitch at the Carroll Biz Challenge later this month, it will mark the second time the pair has competed in such a challenge in four months.

The pair, who took third at the inaugural McDaniel College Innovation Challenge in April, will pitch their Panta Rhei kombucha business to the Biz Challenge judges on Aug. 11.

The fifth annual Carroll Biz Challenge showcases Carroll County entrepreneurs during a show similar to "Shark Tank" for local startups on Thursday, August 11 at the Carroll Arts Center, according to Carroll County Chamber of Commerce President Mike McMullin. The competition received 26 applications from local entrepreneurs looking to grow their business. From there, five finalist were selected: Panta Rhei, bakery Once Upon a Crumb, escape room business Enter Exit Escape, Maryland Wine Cellars and food preservation company Fermentation Creation. The winner of the challenge will receive a $5,000 grand prize to apply to his or her business costs. One finalist will win the $500 People's Choice Award, and one of the original 26 applicants will be awarded the $2,000 Downtown Award, which will recognize a start up business idea with plans to locate in one of the county's downtown areas.

Van Dyke and Shingler started brewing kombucha — a fermented tea beverage usually sweetened with fresh fruit — last school year out of their dorm, where both were working as resident assistants. Van Dyke, who will be a junior in the fall, had been gifted a kombucha-making kit earlier in the year and had been making it on campus.