Pensacola Bay Oyster Co. won the top prize winner at this year's Innovation Awards.
"It feels fantastic," said Donnie McMahon, president and co-founder of the company. "It really does. It was an honor to be selected and a great honor to move the company ahead in what we're trying to do in Northwest Florida."
The Innovation Awards, held this week at the Hilton Pensacola Beach hotel, are a competition that serves as a funding opportunity similar to the TV show "Shark Tank." Divided into four business categories — post-revenue, pre-revenue, veteran and student — 61 startup companies applied to this year’s competition. Judges whittled down the applicants to the best three in each category, and those companies presented their business plans Thursday.
As the winner in the post-revenue category, Pensacola Bay Oyster Co. received $100,000, the largest amount awarded at the competition. The startup, founded in 2014, has two oyster farms in the Pensacola region. The oysters are grown using floating cages and have been pre-sold to restaurants and fresh seafood markets throughout the area.