Vermont artist wins local “Shark Tank” competition


On Tuesday, Barre Pinske won more than $10,000 for his company.

Pinske is a professional wood sculptor and entrepreneur. One of his specialties is making wooden bears.

“I grew up in rural Minnesota in a woodworking family and I actually started working in a wood lath when I was six years old,” said Pinske.

Some of his work has been sold to the U.S Pentagon, famous musicians, and museums. With running his own small business and still making art, he needs help from investors.

So, he took part in “Crowdpitch.”

Crowdpitch was put on by Northern Vermont’s Lendio. Lendio is a free online marketplace that provides funding for small businesses. The event allowed business owners to pitch a growth plan to a panel of expert judges.

Judge Erik Kolomaznik said, “small businesses and entrepreneurs need all the help they can get.”

Throughout the event five local businesses presented their ideas for five minutes each with a three minute question and answer section.

“It’s great for someone with a great new idea to meet influential people and people who might support their plans or fund them financially,” said Kolomaznik.

Pinske plans to use his winnings to buy a robot that will help him make more bears.

“You take the robots hand and put a tool in it and work with it as if you are doing the work and it remembers everything you do,” said Pinske.

Audience members at the event could also vote, but the judges votes were worth more.

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