2023 Biz Challenge Logo

The Carroll County Chamber of Commerce is proud to present the 12th annual Carroll Biz Challenge!

The Biz Challenge showcases local entrepreneurs and gives them the exciting opportunity to pitch their new business ideas, to make great connections, get loads of publicity, and compete for a $10,000 cash prize (plus additional prizes worth thousands more), the $2,023 People’s Choice Award, and the $5,000 United Way of Central Maryland Changemaker Challenge Award.

See the Five Finalists pitch their ideas on stage at the Live Finale on August 3 at 5:00 PM at the Carroll Arts Center in Westminster, MD!

The Process


February 7 – May 31
Submit your business idea through our simple application portal.

Meet & Greet

June 8, 6-8 PM
Meet the other contestants, the judges and the sponsors. Appetizers and drinks generously provided my the TownMall of Westminster. 

5 Finalists Chosen

The advisory committee embarks on the always-grueling task of choosing only five finalists from all the contestants. 

The Live Finale

August 3, 5 PM
The five finalists take the stage and pitch their ideas The audience votes for the $2,023 People’s Choice Award and the judges deliberate and choose the grand prize winner. 

The Judges

Jason Stambaugh

Jason Stambaugh is the founder and creator of the Carroll Biz Challenge. Since 2010 he has been leading teams to develop and scale enterprise software platforms serving customers in the education, retail, and financial services sectors. He has served as the Director of Partner Experience at DTS Connex, a local tech company transforming daily cash operations for major retailers, restaurants, and banks since 2017.

Based in Westminster, Maryland, Jason has had the opportunity to serve on local non-profit boards and work with community members to launch a variety of local initiatives including Mid-Atlantic Gigabit Innovation Collaboratory (MAGIC). He serves as a Council Member on the McDaniel College Entrepreneurship Advisory Council, a Member of Carroll Hospital Foundations Young Leaders Group, and a Trustee at Hey Westminster.

Kim Fernandez

Kim Fernandez is the heart and CEO of GIRLKIN Lashes, a chain of luxury eyelash extension salons!  In 2018, Kim opened her flagship location in Pikesville, MD.  Within 3 years, she expanded her reach by opening 3 more locations in the DMV area. 

True to her brand, she is driven to empower others and create leaders in this industry. Kim has taken her business blueprint and developed a successfully proven franchise program, with the first franchise salon opening in 2021 in Georgia.  Through this program, franchisees have endless opportunities to grow themselves as leaders with the GIRLKIN brand.

GIRLKIN's mission is to provide an unmatched experience with gorgeous lashes and unbeatable customer service in a glamorously luxurious environment. 

Steve Moore

Steve Moore is the owner of Run Moore, a specialty running shop located in Westminster. Steve was the winner of the Carroll Biz Challenge in 2014, just after he opened his store.

Since opening, Run Moore was twice named a Top Running Store in America and moved to a larger, Main Street location.

In addition to working in running, Steve can often be found running the trails with his friends or spending time with his wife and two kids. 

Deb Cancro

Debra Cancro is SVP of Data Products at Bigtincan where she is responsible for developing innovative capabilities to help customers leverage the value of their data. She joined Bigtincan via the acquisition of her AI startup, VoiceVibes, which she founded in 2012 to help people be more effective communicators.

Prior to VoiceVibes, Debra was the founder of Autonomy Engine, LLC, which developed autonomous control systems software. She has over 15 years of marketing and management experience at both startups and Fortune 500 companies. Her background includes product marketing for the Bluetooth and HDMI product lines at the Broadcom Corporation (BRCM) and Member of Technical Staff at AT&T Bell Labs as well as being a stay-at-home mom for 7 years. 

2023 Applicants

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Share Hope through Art, under the Community Foundation of Carroll County

Share Hope through Art is an innovative suicide prevention program.

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Dental Desires

Dental Desires is the perfect choice for those who want to take care of their teeth without sacrificing flavor.

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Celcy Technologies

Celcy - The automated Nespresso of food.

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A&M Smoked Meats

We are a usda artisan style smoked meat company

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Pack'd Kitchen LLC

Pack'd Kitchen LLC is designed to be your personal chef

Good Time Health

We're a brand that promotes simple changes to everyday habits that allow a vast wealth of health benefits.

Apply. Pitch. Win.