Green Grazer Goats, DEact, and Drone Workforce Solutions will compete for cash and services for their entrepreneurial endeavors

The entrants in the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce’s annual “Swim with the Sharks” video pitch competition have been dwindled down from 11 to the top three, with the finalists representing a broad spectrum of business opportunity.

Drone Workforce Solutions, DEAct, and Green Grazer Goats are the final three in the contest that grants the first place winner $22,000 in cash and services.

The contest, now in its fifth year, is sponsored through the NCCCC’s Emerging Enterprise Center, billed as a “business incubator” designed to help start-up business owners learn essential entrepreneurial skills, grow their business, and develop a long term sustainable model, according to the organization’s website.

All three businesses have been in operation long enough for each of their owners to get a sense of how successful their endeavors might be.

Kalyn Butt, owner of Green Grazer Goats in Lincoln University, Pa., started her inaugural season in May with three goats and a longtime dream.

Four months later, the Wilmington University student is up to 32 goats and a full-time day job tending to her flocks as they help clear invasive species from her clients’ properties.

“There are only 30 companies like this in the country, and we’re in the first wave of it,” Butt said. “The way I see it, this goat thing is going to take off whether I’m part of it or not, so I’m going to be the one that makes it happen.”

DEact Medical Solutions owner Trevor Brown, who has a patent pending on a process to neutralize active ingredients in disuses medications, said he’s been in business since April, and that things are now beginning to turn the corner.

“I am looking to break into the market in a big way in the next coming weeks and months,” Brown said.

As one of only a handful of drone flight training companies in the country, Drone Workforce Solution owner Theophilus Nix was quick to settle on what he believed to be a cutting edge emerging market.

“We’re the only school of its kind in Delaware,” Nix said “(Since January), we’ve had about 80 people go through in five classes.”

We met with the owners of these diverse companies to learn more about their businesses, and their goals for the future.

Green Grazer Goats

Owner’s Name: Kalyn Butt
Age: 24
Town of Residence: Lincoln University, Pa.

Q What started your interest in this field?
A In high school, I was a member of (Future Farmers of America). As part of FFA, we had to research various livestock. I took a particular interest in goats.  I thought they were amazing creatures who had so much to offer. In doing the research I had read of people using herds of goats out west in the plains to control brush and the spread of wildfires. I thought this would be a great resource to harness on the east coast to battle the onslaught of invasive and non-native vegetation that is taking over the area. 

Q Who are your customers?
A Everyone! Anyone in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Jersey who owns property is a potential customer for Green Grazer Goats. Controlled goat grazing is beneficial to homeowners, farmers, state parks, school systems, property management companies, golf courses, municipalities, etc.  Green Grazer Goats offers them an eco-friendly alternative to hazardous chemical applications.

Q What are your goals for your company?
A Moving forward we are looking to increase our herd and expand our business.  This means more goats, fencing, shelter, and veterinary care. We are also hoping to create employment opportunities for young adults who are interested in the fields of agriculture or veterinary science.  Our goal, in the long run, is to give everyone in the tri-state area an eco-friendly alternative for their property maintenance needs.

Drone Workforce Solutions

Owner’s Name: Theophilus R. Nix, Jr.
Age: 63
Town of Residence: Wilmington

Q What started your interest in this field?
A According to Goldman Sachs, the field of Drone Technology will be a $100 Billion industry. When I saw what drones were going to do for Business, companies and corporations, (i.e., the value proposition), in that it would disrupt every industry by making what they currently do faster, safer, more efficient and increase their bottom line I had to get into it. Also, when I saw what Americans could make by becoming a drone operator, it sealed the deal for me. I am passionate about workforce development and this will be a sustainable opportunity for the American worker to create a sustainable lifestyle for themselves.

Q Who are your customers?
A We have two types of customers: one, students who will take our drone class to become FAA certified, commercial drone operators. We have the only sole drone schools in Delaware and New Jersey approved by the Departments of Education, and two, employers. As the only drone employment company connected to a drone training School, we intend to provide drone operators from our schools directly to businesses and companies of all types.

Q What are your goals for your company?
A To create a nationwide drone network to facilitate support for the commercial drone industry by connecting a well-trained and competent drone workforce with companies and employers through our schools and employment company.

DEact Medical Solutions

Owner’s name: Trevor Brown
Age: 24
Town of residence: Wilmington

Q What started your interest in this field?
A My interest started in this field as I was working on a project my senior year at the University of South Carolina. My passion for the sciences collided with my passion to make an impact in the lives of others, and here we are today.

Q Who are your customers?
A DEact's prospective customers include hospitals, pharmacies, and the professional healthcare market including PCPs, dentists, and vets. We will also be marketing directly to pharmaceutical manufacturers and healthcare insurers as we continue our growth.

Q What are your goals for your company?
A My goals are quite simple. Prevent the pathway of addiction before it begins and in turn save lives. Our mission is also to lower the economic impact on missed prevention opportunities, which currently costs the United States healthcare system $50B a year to clean up messes that maybe could have been prevented.