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Tote Taxi Wins Inaugural Riptide: $ink Or $wim Event

Anastasia Lennon

Danielle Candela, the Founder and CEO of Tote Taxi. (Courtesy Photo)

On Saturday, November 25, i-hamptons hosted its first Riptide: $ink or $wim event at the Southampton Arts Center. The competition was an opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas to a panel of "sharks" with the hopes of winning money to fund their start-ups.

Danielle Candela, the Founder and CEO of Tote Taxi, took home top honors. Her company is a courier service for individuals who need to transport weekend bags, golf clubs, and luggage from New York City to Montauk. Clients can schedule pick-ups through an app.

"I'm very happy and excited that the judges selected my business, Tote Taxi, as the winner of the first Hamptons RipTide: $ink or $wim event. I'm very grateful for Ashley, the Founder of i-hamptons, for putting the event together and giving locals an opportunity to share their businesses," shared Candela. The $15,000 first-prize will go towards additional features for the app and a down-payment on a truck.

The second winner, selected by the audience, was Ben Conard, the Founder of Five North Chocolate. The company, which makes vegan and fair trade snacking chocolate, was awarded $10,000 in start-up funds.

The other three finalists will also receive support through mentoring from the experienced panelists. Doc Power, a renewable energy powered generator fueled by solar and wind power; Premex, a digital advertising solution that utilizes data to help brands measure audience engagement; and Sweet Vineyards, the creator of cocktails that one can eat, such as wine-infused biscotti, were the remaining finalists.

Panelist Kathleen King, Founder of Tate's Bake Shop, enjoyed being a part of the panel. "I am so grateful to have i-hamptons in our community, contributing to help others achieve their dreams. There is an underbelly of amazing people making things happen and supporting each other," remarked King.

The panel of "sharks" also included Bion Bartning, the Co-Founder of EOS Beauty; David Bohnett, a philanthropist and Founder of Geocities; and Jeff Brodlieb, a partner at Centripetal Capital Partners.

"i-hamptons is just getting started on its mission to connect all the local innovators and start-ups, providing a platform of services to help accelerate their growth," said Ashley John Heather, Founder of i-hamptons. "Saturday's Riptide event demonstrated that the East End is alive with entrepreneurial spirit and we look forward to seeing the community grow in the coming few years!"

The networking company will be opening its new workspace and innovation lab, The Spur, in January at the Southampton Social Club. It is also looking for its next contenders for the 2018 Riptide: $ink or $wim event. Applications can be submitted on the official website.

i-hamptons is the Hamptons' first networking community and resource provider for local innovators. These resources include local events, co-working facilities, education, and investment opportunities.

For more information, please visit www.i-hamptons.com.

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