Three more days

Two would-be Seattle-area startups are hitting the final days of a contest that could net them $50,000 to help get their businesses off the ground. The Quickbooks Just Start contest runs until Jan. 31st, leaving us only three days to help catapult one of our local entrepreneurs into victory.

Suzanne Sprague of Bremerton is the founder of MelodiesAboutMe, a company that creates original personalized children’s music. Like many Seattleites, Sprague’s whole family is passionate about good music, including her daughter, whose love of a song that included her name helped inspire the creation of MelodiesAboutMe. Sprague works with her husband, mother, and sister (who lives in Lake Stevens) to arrange the music and run the business.

“The most rewarding part of starting a business has by far been working with my family,” Sprague said. “My mom has written the music to all of our songs, and my sister, husband and I are taking care of all the business. It’s amazing what can be accomplished when we all work together. We feel very proud of each other and the product we have to offer.”

Sprague and her family plan to use the winnings from the contest to market their product and create more CDs, though somehow Sprague’s own daughter has managed to get five or six bootleg copies. CDs from MelodiesAboutMe are available for pre-ordering now, and the first CD will go on sale March 1st through their website. (#)

Another area entrepreneur, Seattle-based Daniel Garrido, is also a finalist in the contest. His company, INU Treats, combines all-natural, healthy dog treats with a bit of Asian flair. The treats, inspired by their own dogs’ food allergies, are designed to resemble pot stickers, egg rolls and mochi. Garrido says INU Treats would use the winnings for marketing, improving their packaging, opening a commercial production facility, and expanding their distribution channels. INU Treats are available through a number of local retailers.

Every vote counts, so go help out some local entrepreneurs. (#)

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