Washington, D.C.-area companies took home both top prizes in a national small business competition from UPS earlier in August.
Food business incubator Flavors Culinary Group of Landover and Arlington’s Boolean Girl Tech were the two winners of the annual The UPS Store Small Biz Challenge, which is also sponsored by Inc. Magazine.
Both companies are also led by woman founders. Samia Bingham, who is in the process of opening the Flavors incubator in Fort Washington, got a $14,000 investment. The incubator will have health-inspected and licensed commercial kitchen space and office space that will help new food businesses who don’t have the capital for such licensing, get off the ground.
Boolean Girl Tech out of Arlington, which got a $12,000 investment, comes from Ingrid Sanden. The business, which aims to teach young girls to code, build computers and invent, sells the Boolean Box, which is a build-it-yourself computer for children ages 8 and up. It also provides classes, camps and special events all geared toward girls.
Robert Herjavec, CEO of Herjavec and “Shark Tank” lead investor, chose both winners. They were narrowed from a field of more than 1,000. UPS and Inc. narrowed the field to 10, and then Inc. readers and others voted for the top six in an online poll.
The UPS Store then held two events, one in Los Angeles and one in New York, in which three businesses competed in a series of five business challenges. Tasks included things like sales, customer service and budgeting.
Bingham competed in the Los Angeles event and Sanden in the New York event. Both came out on top.
Flavors, which aims to become “the WeWork of kitchen spaces,” plans to put the money toward the buildout of the Landover incubator, which expects to open in 2020. Sanden said the funding will go toward supporting the company during the sales rush of the holiday season.