spark soldotna

It takes a good idea, the right market and a lot of research, planning and preparation to get a new business off the ground.

Ready cash doesn’t hurt, either.

If you’ve got the first part, the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce has the second in its Spark Soldotna competition.

It’s patterned off the “Shark Tank” TV show, where entrepreneurs submit a business pitch for a panel of sharks — experienced businesspeople — to review. Five finalists are selected to pitch their ideas to a live audience, and one will win $4,000.

Jenny Neyman/KDLL

Five new business owners took to the mic to give their sales pitch for being awarded $4,000 in the Spark Soldotna competition Friday night.

The event was the culmination of Kenai-Soldotna Business Startup Week. It was patterned after the TV show, “Shark Tank,” with entrepreneurs being judged by a panel of business experts.

In the entrepreneur corner, was Candy FitzPatrick, who invented Rest Angles, a portable, adjustable and collapsible footrest for people with short legs.

“I was spending a lot of time in pain flying across the Pacific Ocean,” FitzPatrick said. “And over the course of those years, I tried a number of different products to try and alleviate the pain from dangling legs, to no avail. I used a cardboard box for a while. Eventually, though, I came up with my own solution. I invented Rest Angles out of necessity.”