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      Local entrepreneurs step up for "Shark Tank" style pitch competition

      New business ideas took center stage in a "Shark Tank" style pitch competition Friday evening.

      The event was sponsored by the Missouri Rural Enterprise and Innovation Center and the Truman State School of Business.

      Students and community members stepped up and pitched their business ideas to an expert panel of judges. The goal: to provide these budding entrepreneurs with useful feedback and the skills to talk with potential investors.

      â??One of the hardest skills for a new business owner or an aspiring business owner to develop is the ability to raise capital and to generate capital for a business. A business that doesnâ??t have capital will never start, and thatâ??s a tough skill to develop,â?? said Dan Hamlet, Executive Director of the Missouri Rural Enterprise and Innovation Center.

      Some of the ideas included a special law firm for students involved with Greek life and a new Country Market for downtown Kirksville.

      At the end of it all, Richard Green's pitch for a new bike shop, Pedals and Spokes, came out on top.

      â??Hopefully it only goes up from here. The main thing was just to try to get the shop going and give this community something they really needed,â?? said Green.

      The business pitches were rated based on clarity, content, feasibility and appearance of presentation.

      If you have a business idea you think would be a worthy investment, then you're in luck! Organizers hope to hold another pitch competition again next year.