SockTABs takes top prize at June 18 FastPitch competition

Online Staff Report

More than 30 entrepreneurs put everything on the line Wednesday, June 18, at EIRGElab’s Eighth Annual FastPitch, while attempting to convey why their product, service or idea was more worthy than their fellow competitors.

Twelve finalists made the stage vying for five cash prizes. The winner, Tracie Burress, solved an age-old problem with her SockTABs product; combating the “Sock Monster!”

SockTABs is a small and discreet pairing system designed to combat the Sock Monster, which alleviates the misery and frustration that we’ve all experienced in keeping our socks and their mates together,” Burress said.

Second-place winner, Casey Bankord’s product is SlimBooks. An online platform for people to read, create, discover and contribute to brilliant, original and digital books that are 100 pages or fewer.

Thanks for putting on such a great event last night!” Bankford said following the competition. “It was really well planned and executed, and what an awesome celebration of human ingenuity and Rockford’s entrepreneurial spirit. It was a blast to be a part of! Keep up the great work!”

Stacy McCaskill took third place with FishWithMe. She shared that her goal is to capture just a minute portion of the $50 billion market of underutilized fishing assets.

GREAT JOB pulling off an excellent event,” she said of the FastPitch competition. “I really had a great time and learned a lot from the experience.”

Erin Hughes won the student prize with her Adjustable Server product, and Robert Haney clenched the CleanTech award with his product, Soletronix.

Keynote speaker, author Joe Abraham, shared his entrepreneurial wisdom at length to inspire startups and existing businesses that have plateaued and are looking for a game-changing paradigm shift. He encourages anyone who is interested to take the 10-question assessment to delve deeper into a business owners’ entrepreneurial DNA. Anyone who is interested in completing the entrepreneurial DNA assessment can contact EIGERlab.

The finalists in the competition included the following: Craig Gundersen, 1st Table; Zina Horton, Zammuto’s Drive In and Carry Out; Tom Keenan, Cool Seat Coolers; Eric Kinzle, Family Advocate Mobile app.; Tony LaMarca, Metro Tool & Machine; Brad Marshall, AdsOrTails; Judy Reinhold, Kaliber Imaging; and Richard Walsh, AnvilWorks High Velocity Training.

EIGERlab is at 605 Fulton Ave., Rockford, and can be reached at (815) 965-3522 or online at

Posted June 19, 2014

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