Take Flight Goose Management, which uses the herding and stalking instincts of Border Collies to control their customers’ geese problems, beat out twenty-six other businesses to take the $50,000 grand prize on the “Mind Your Own Business” finale Sunday, April 1, 2007 on WCNY television. Melanie Littlejohn, Vice President of Business Services for National Grid, presented the check to winner Mary Ann Kras, who showed the judges the most compelling case during the competition for why her business deserved the prize.
“Mind Your Own Business”, which began airing in January, was a 10-episode series designed to stimulate and support entrepreneurial growth in Central New York. Each week three local businesses were profiled and had an opportunity to explain how they would improve or expand their business if awarded the $50,000. A three-person panel of local business experts decided which business would advance to the finale each week based on growth potential, innovative ideas, and market demand.
The show also awarded an audience choice winner, Juanita Bass of Juanita’s Soul Classics, which produces delicious sauces and seasonings used for the best soul food. Of the over 6,000 calls logged, Bass received 42% of the votes, winning one year of mentoring from the Falcone Center of Entrepreneurship at the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University. Nola Miyasaki from the Whitman School of Management presented that award.
Second place winner, Jen Falso of HuePhoria, also received a mentoring package from the Falcone Center. HuePhoria designs, manufactures and distributes hand-blown and hand-painted stemware, ornaments, and salt-and-pepper shakers.
WCNY received generously donated funding for the production of Mind Your Own Business.
“I’d like to thank National Grid, The Gifford Foundation, Syracuse University, Central New York Community Foundation, Inc., and Key Bank for their support,” said WCNY President & CEO Robert Daino. “It’s their donations that made this program a success.”