MACOMB, Ill. — Local entrepreneurs fed the sharks at Macomb's first-ever Shark Tank Thursday.
If you're not familiar with the show Shark Tank, business-owners pitch their start-up to a panel of judges.
The goal is to convince the panel to invest in their idea.
On Thursday night, seven local entrepreneurs prepared to feed the sharks and vie for a space in downtown Macomb.
Downtown Development Director Kristin Terry came up with the idea.
"You never know who you might meet. Maybe someone is willing to go in with them, maybe someone's willing to invest in them. Maybe people have had to expand it. You just never know who you might meet so this is a great opportunity for them to market their product and hoping, and also to get the community rallied that they would support them too," Terry said.
Those interested in making a business pitch had to attend a series of workshops ran by industry professionals.
Six months of free rent space in downtown Macomb was one of the incentives to finish the workshops and create the winning pitch.
"These are things that they wouldn't have to worry about for a while and then they can really focus on their business," Terry explained.
Roger Ward served as a guest judge and has years of experience operating a local business, The Forum, in downtown Macomb.
"We've got a dedicated core group of people here in the downtown area that are trying to bring new businesses to town. That would add to the already vibrant downtown area we've got," Ward said.
Oliver Hunter and Timothy Vigezzi pitched a "Bakery and Candy Store" to the sharks.
"After the first meeting for the business competition, we had just kind of learned what we were supposed to do. The bare bones of how to make a business," Vigezzi said.
"You’ve got to take risks and that's where we enjoy the idea of having alternative things," Hunter said.
Forgottonia Brewing won Thursday night's grand prize of $28,000 to invest in the business.