Scott County FAST-TRACK Challenge 2021 Finalists Announced

The Scott County Center for Entrepreneurship will be hosting the 5th Annual Scott County FAST-TRACK Challenge on Thursday, October 21, 2021.   This year’s applicants are featuring projects in the health/wellness space, tech and manufacturing areas.  Applications were received from entrepreneurs in several Scott County communities including Elko New Market, Prior Lake, Savage and Shakopee. A summary of finalists, listed alphabetically, follows:

BABY KNOW – A Speech-language pathologist, Pediatric Occupational Therapist, Professor and two Licensed Early Childhood, Parent Educators have teamed up to develop an online video program focusing on infant growth and development. The educational programming empowers parents to teach their babies activities including speech, language & play, fine motor, gross motor, sensory processing development, vision, and general parent education.  The BABY KNOW program also provides parents with mindfulness and positive affirmation activities to do for themselves, with their babies and/or with their families. The company, developed by Candi (Walz) Seil, MPP, Caitlin Raaz, PhD, CCC-SLP, Bethany DeJarnatt, MOT, OTR/L, Wendy Walz, Early Childhood/ Parent Educator and Cinnamin (Walz) Theisen, Early Childhood/ Parent Educator is based in Shakopee.


Chefs Crest – Matthew Folefac, CEO, created Chefs Crest: The Home of Homemade Food, an online marketplace for homemade food.  The platform makes it easier for homebased food businesses to sell their delicious homemade food products to individuals in their communities and beyond.  The on-line platform allows homebased food businesses to gain customers through Chef Crest’s marketing strategies and benefit from on-line transactions. Matthew is a registered cottage food producer with a background in Neuroscience. He understands the struggles of starting a home-based food business, the importance of food on our health and the importance of trusting communities. The company, based in Savage, incorporated in 2021.


MASH – Thomas Buske, Steve McGuiggan and Nate Stemper are excited to “pitch” their business plans to the FAST-TRACK judges.  They currently operate MASH in Eagan, a sports and human development company. They are proposing a new, proactive approach to training athletes and inspiring an entire community of growth with a brand-new facility in Savage. Their current team includes strength training and a youth baseball club. They will expand services in physical therapy, chiropractic, nutrition, and psychology, providing collaborative resources for their clients. MASH will continue to promote a positive environment as a way to engage and develop the next generation, through the creation of space and programming, coaching and culture).


Steelhead Outdoors – An innovative safe company offering the only modular, fire-insulated made-in-USA gun safe available quickly on the market. Long-time friends, engineers and avid outdoorsmen Corey Meyer and Charlie Pehrson – Co-Founders, created the patent pending product that is now being manufactured in Prior Lake. They plan to add welders, assemblers, material handlers, design engineers and sales/customer service staff to their team as they grow.


Tech Forge – A new venture from Tech Fixers LLC, owned by Dustin Siemers, Tech Forge was inspired by Dustin while repairing smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices.  What if instead of simply repairing your mobile device you could make it better?  What if you could prevent the hassle and downtime to your organization caused by broken devices?  The solution is Tech Forge’s superior housings for tech products.  Tech Forge is currently located in the office for Tech Fixers in Shakopee.  Additional product lines and full-scale production will require design engineer(s), assemblers, machine operators, logistics, support, marketing and sales staff.


The five finalists will pitch to an esteemed panel of judges at a live event on Thursday, October 21, 2021 at Prior Lake City Hall. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. and is open to the public.  The finalists will compete for start-up funds and professional services. Those planning to attend are required to register in advance on-line at:  as seating is limited.  The event is free to the public.

The 5th Annual Scott County FAST-TRACK Challenge is made possible through the generous sponsorship and donations of several local companies including Silver Sponsors: Larkin Hoffman, Neon Lizard Creative Marketing & Design, Roundbank and the Scott County CDA; Bronze Sponsors: First Bank & Trust New Prague, Minnesota Valley Electric Cooperative Round-Up and the City of Prior Lake and Bronze Sponsors: New Prague, Prior Lake, Savage and Shakopee Chambers of Commerce.

The 2021 FAST-TRACK Judges include Angela Heikes, President and CEO of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) Gaming Enterprise, Charles Shannon, VP of Corporate Development for Merrill Corporation, Joseph J. Fittante, Corporate Practice Chair, Larkin Hoffman and James Ericksrud, Market President at Roundbank.