Sean Rugless
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African American Chamber's 'Shark Pool' looking for companies to dive in

Program modeled after ABC's Shark Tank

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CINCINNATI - If you're a local minority entrepreneur looking for investors, the African American Chamber is looking for you.

The chamber is seeking applicants for its 2013 Shark Pool event. The event won't be held until Sept. 27, but interested entrepreneurs must apply by 5 p.m. May 31.

"We're looking for any great business model that might attract investment," said Sean Rugless, CEO of the African American Chamber.

This is the second year the chamber has held the event, which is modeled after the ABC show "Shark Tank." Like the show, Shark Pool has business owners compete for the chance to have investors provide money to grow their companies.

More than 350 people attended last year's event to watch five business owners pitch their companies to five potential investors, Rugless said. The winner, Dinita Smith of AutoGym, won a total of $25,000 at the event last year. This year, the prize package will be worth $100,000, Rugless said. That total will include at least $25,000 in money as well as office space and technical resources.

This year's special guest will be Earl G. Graves Jr., president and CEO of Black Enterprise. Five finalists will compete for the prize.

For more information, contact the African American Chamber at (513) 733-1555 or go to

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