The Start Me Up Challenge

65+ Bucks County entrepreneurs looking for an opportunity to create, develop and present a business idea to an experienced group of entrepreneurial investors entered the Bucks START ME UP CHALLENGE in January 2017 for a chance to receive funding and assistance for your business/idea!

Similar to the TV show Shark TankTM, venture capitalists from Bucks County will invest their own time, money and resources in their favorite concepts in the Start Me Up Challenge. Local investors will be on hand to hear pitches and negotiate investment funds and mentoring, with up to $100,000 available to the selected concepts.

We invite everyone to check out the FINAL LIVE in-person event on April 27 at 6:30 pm.

Click to watch the LIVE STREAM!

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Investor Bios

Bill Borchert, Jr

Bill Borchert, Jr. has been in the financial services and community banking industries for almost 30 years.  He has been a business-owner and industry leader for over 25 years. Bill founded IFS, Inc. (Financial Planning for business-owners) in 1985 and created BFS Group (Executive & Director benefit plans and financing strategies) in 1998.  He has earned national recognition in the community and regional bank markets as a leader, speaker, and author on executive and director supplemental benefits and BOLI financing strategies.  Bill is a regular speaker at business and sales conferences on the topics of “Thinking Big” and “Sales Performance”. 

Gene Epstein

Gene Epstein proved his business savvy at an early age when he opened a candy store with his mom at the age of 15 to help save their north Philadelphia home. True to his motto, “Never found a downside to working hard”, Gene became a successful car dealer and real estate investor and a champion of many charitable causes in education, unemployment and healthcare. Today, Gene runs his family foundation with his wife Marlene and looks forward to support the next generation of entrepreneurs with their ideas through the Challenge.    

Brett Kane has extensive experience in business management, technology, human resources, sales and real estate. He held management positions at an Internet infrastructure start-up and a high tech engineering and manufacturing company, and currently manages his own real estate investments. Brett’s education includes technology, psychology, business management, and HR, studying at Baruch College of Business in Manhattan, Temple University, and other educational institutions. Brett is looking to invest in new opportunities through the Start Me Up Challenge.

In 2003, Ron Walker and Russ Coulon took a $5,000 investment and turned it into a $500,000 internet business working just 10 hours a week. After being diagnosed with melanoma, Ron realized there was a need for quality sun protection umbrellas for those who had melanoma or patients receiving chemotherapy. They sell their patented brand of UV-Blocker umbrellas on Amazon and through the UV-Blocker website. Ron’s full-time job is President of Allied Electronics. Inc., and Russ is the IT manager at Allied. Both bring expertise in business and internet marketing, as well as their manufacturing and purchasing contacts in China to the Start Me Up Challenge.