NEW ALBANY, Ohio, April 17, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Bob Evans Farms announced today that Biao Skincare, Peak Safety Systems and Living Tiny, LLC are the three finalists for the company's third annual Our Farm Salutes "Heroes to CEOs" grant-giving program. All three Veteran entrepreneurs will attend an exclusive event at blueprint + co in New York City on April 25, 2019 to pitch their business to a panel of judges for a chance to win a $30,000 business grant. Prior to their presentation, they will each have a 45-minute prep session with world-renowned businessman and investor Daymond John to refine their pitch.
As part of the program, Bob Evans Farms partnered with Bunker Labs, a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to helping new Veteran entrepreneurs start their own business, and the organization will receive a donation of $15,000 as recognition of their support of Heroes to CEOs. Bunker Labs is a national network of Veteran entrepreneurs dedicated to helping new Veteran entrepreneurs start their own business.
In the grant-giving program's third year, there was a 33 percent spike in entries, with a total of 210 total entries. To select the three finalists, each eligible entry was scored based on reason, presentation, feasibility, opportunity and future success of the business or plan submitted. During the April 25 event, a judging panel, which includes two past Heroes to CEOs winners, will have the opportunity to hear the pitches and select the winner based on the same criteria.
"We started the Heroes to CEOs program as a way to honor Veterans across the country. We've been thrilled to partner with Bunker Labs this year to help spread the word about the program," said Mike Townsley, President and CEO, Bob Evans Farms. "Biao Skincare, Peak Safety Systems and Living Tiny, LLC each provided us with compelling stories and comprehensive business plans. We're excited to see their innovative ideas unfold as they pitch their business after a mentoring session with Daymond John."
Heroes to CEOs Finalists
Biao Skincare, founded by Nicole Baldwin, is a digital skincare company that leverages the latest in artificial intelligence technology and data science to target the damaging effects that life stressors and environmental aggressors have on the skin, especially for those who live active and ambitious lifestyles. Their mission is to provide users smart, modern, and sophisticated skin care solutions powered by science and technology that target environmental aging. Biao is based in Houston, Texas.
Levi and Chandler Green founded Living Tiny, LLC near Tulsa, Oklahoma where they build tiny homes from the ground up. Levi learned in the military what you need and what you don't in confined spaces. The business started a year ago, building the homes out in the elements.
Jonathan Norton is a former Army Ranger, inventor of RopeSafe Edge protection system and the founder & CEO of Peak Safety Systems, a combat Veteran-owned product development company, with a mission to create and deploy the best safety equipment for military, first responders, and rope access professionals. Their goal is to create functional, life-saving equipment that inspires confidence in the men and women who serve the country and their communities, and provide meaningful employment for Veterans. Peak Safety Systems is headquartered in Hartford, Connecticut.
"Nicole, Jonathan, Levi and Chandler have great businesses, and I look forward to meeting with them one-on-one to provide advice before their pitch to the judging panel," Daymond John, the People's Shark, said. "It is truly an honor to now be in my third year collaborating with Bob Evans Farms where I get to take part in this inspiring initiative that celebrates our Veterans and provides opportunities for them to further their dreams in business."
"Bunker Labs is thrilled to be the philanthropic partner for Heroes to CEOs. Collaborations like this one, allow us to further our mission, to help Veterans and military spouses start, grow and scale their businesses," said Katherine Kostreva, Northeast Region Executive Director, Bunker Labs. "We have a dedicated and thriving Veteran community and startup ecosystem, one that connects vetrepreneurs with mentorship and opportunities for capital. We are excited to see this contest grow in its third year, and in our eyes, everyone is a winner. It takes great courage to start your own business!"
For more information on the grant-giving program visit www.ourfarmsalutes.com. For more information about Bob Evans Farms visit www.bobevansgrocery.com and for more information about Bunker Labs visit www.bunkerlabs.org.
About Bob Evans Farms, Inc.
Bob Evans Farms, Inc. is a brand born and raised on the promise of farm-fresh goodness. For more than 70 years, the company has been making delicious, quick-to-table farm-fresh food that is sold in grocery stores all over the country. Today, Bob Evans brand mashed potatoes and macaroni & cheese products are the #1 selling refrigerated side dishes in the United States*. Based in Columbus, Ohio and owned by Post Holdings, Inc., a consumer-packaged goods holding company, Bob Evans Farms is also a leading producer and distributor of refrigerated potato, pasta and vegetable-based side dishes, pork sausage, and a variety of refrigerated and frozen convenience food items under the Bob Evans, Owens and Pineland Farms brand names. For more information about Bob Evans Farms, Inc., visit www.bobevansgrocery.com.
* SOURCE: IRI Total US MULO Latest 52 W/E 12/2/18.
About Bunker Labs
Bunker Labs is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization headquartered in Chicago, with chapters in 25+ cities, built by military veteran entrepreneurs to empower other military veterans to start and grow businesses. Through local chapters organized in cities across the U.S., Bunker Labs provides educational programming, mentors, events, and thriving local networks to help military veterans succeed and thrive as entrepreneurs and innovators.
About Daymond John
Daymond John can be seen Sunday nights on ABC's four-time Emmy Award winning series, Shark Tank, where as an original cast member he is in the midst of his 10th season. John is widely recognized for his accomplishments as an entrepreneur and branding expert following the success of his groundbreaking lifestyle brand, FUBU® and is a two-time New York Times Best Selling Author, most recently for his book Rise and Grind. In recognition of his impact in the entrepreneurial space, John was named a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship under the Obama Administration, and has been bestowed the NAACP Entrepreneurs of the Year Award, the Congressional Achievement Award for Entrepreneurship and more.
SOURCE Bob Evans Farms, Inc.