What does the creator of a baby sound machine designed primarily to soothe colicky babies have in common with the maker of vegan and gluten-free granola and related products?
Both female entrepreneurs who received mentoring services from SCORE Bucks County, Samantha Myers, founder of ByeByeCry, and Rochelle Berg, who founded Living Smart Granola, nabbed the top awards in the recent Spark Bowl.
Held at Delaware Valley University, the fourth annual “Shark Tank” style competition featured business pitches from five Bucks County business finalists who were selected following a preliminary pitch prior to the in-person competition. Each business finalist was paired with a student team and an advisor who worked collaboratively to create a compelling five-minute pitch while contemplating business projections, costs associated with making and selling products and future growth.
The first-place winner, Myers won $12,000, which she said will be earmarked for marketing, as well as keeping her soon-to-be-launched ByeByeCry app updated.
“My dream is to go on ‘Shark Tank.’ After a few rounds of pitching, I would definitely love to apply,” Myers said. “My vision for the app is to have a global impact on families around the world struggling with colic and let them know they’re not alone.”
A Warrington mom of two colicky daughters, Myers got the idea for her sound machine while on maternity leave with her youngest daughter and launched ByeByeCry in March. Myers told judges she’s sold more than 1,100 sound machines, which are available for purchase on Amazon. Considering an estimated 30 percent of the 3.75 million babies born in the U.S. have colic, Myers estimates that her product will net $1.5 million in three years.
Her subscription-based app will offer the 10 sounds available on the ByeByeCry sound machine, as well as five bonus sounds, along with 24/7 tips for parents and caregivers of colicky infants.
Like Myers, Berg’s business was built from a personal passion. In her case, that devotion focused on creating healthy granola products that anyone can enjoy, regardless of their dietary needs. A second-place winner, the New Hope entrepreneur claimed $6,000 and plans to invest the award into marketing her nutritious homemade products. To date, she has not spent any money marketing her granola, which she produces in 100-pound batches every two weeks.
“This has all just been from people liking our stuff and our small community spreading the word for us,” she said. “My product tastes better than everything else out there. Anyone with an allergy can eat it and that’s such a rare thing.”
Berg’s products can be purchased online (with free delivery in Bucks County) and can be purchased in-person at several area farmers markets. Looking ahead, Berg told judges she anticipates doubling her revenue in 2024 and sees her product in health food stores, as well as Whole Foods.
To request a SCORE mentor, visit score.org/buckscounty.