Launchpad Startup Contest winner Christie Ison hasn’t had her business very long. Like, just a few weeks long.
Regardless, in the short time her business has been up (just a few weeks), she has laid the ground work for what may be a very profitable venture.
Ison won the inaugural prize at the Conway LaunchPad Startup Contest on Saturday afternoon, during the middle of Toad Suck Daze, in Conway.
Ison’s website, ARFoodjobs.com is a website that matches workers for the hospitality industry. The niche based website stands out, initially, because it offers candidates to potential employers that are “highly qualified.” In her pitch, she explained that she had a plan for the prize money, $15,000, which was given to the winner. The judges explained that this, along with her ability to explain her model fully, got their attention.
In the end, Ison and her website have $15,000 to invest back into the company. Ison, not surprisingly, was extremely excited when she was announced as the winner.
Ison competed against 8 other startups, many who have been in business for some time and are experiencing tremendous growth. DataRank may have been the most mature company that attended, being a company for over 3 years. The Fayetteville company participated in the prestigious Y Combinator, a startup accelerator, just last Spring.
Other business startups who participated included Passenger Baggage Xpress (PBX) a baggage location platform, Bourbon & Boots, a women’s e-tailer for women in the Southeast, Eyenalyze, a platform for real-time data and inventory management for restaurants, Treatsie, a ecommerce website for high end gourmet artisan treats, Overwatch, a platform that improves the gaming experience, Pocket Dealer, a smartphone application that alerts car owners of service reminders and records, and Talentt, an smart phone app that coordinates creative talent with the businesses who need them locally.
Each company was given 3 minutes to pitch and then 2 minutes of question and answers with the judges.
After receiving her check, Ison told the Log Cabin’s Michelle Corbett, “The organizers told me that the decision was unanimous, and that the crazy reaction I had was exactly what they wanted for this competition, to be life changing for someone,” she said. “It definitely is.”