SU Shore Hatchery Competition Goes Virtual May 7


SALISBURY, MD—The 14th round of a 10-year, $2 million program to create new jobs takes place Thursday, May 7, via Zoom, as entrepreneurs vie for their share of $200,000 in business funding.

The Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation Shore Hatchery program was established with an initial $1 million contribution in 2013. In 2017, the Ratcliffe Foundation announced a second $1 million gift to continue the Shore Hatchery through spring 2023. It is administered through Salisbury University’s Franklin P. Perdue School of Business.

Its goal: to fund entrepreneurs and have new businesses opening within six months, with the potential of employing three or more within three years.

Up to $200,000 annually is available for those applying for grants through the Shore Hatchery program. Recipients will be selected based on Zoom presentations to the program’s board of directors.

Through the initiative, applicants representing multiple geographic territories and business sectors pitch their business ideas to the board during a “Gull Cage” competition similar to the format used for ABC-TV’s Shark Tank. Each spring and fall, the program awards a share of $100,000 to business startups.

Ratcliffe Shore Hatchery board members include Jim Perdue of Perdue Farms; Dave Rommel and Mike Cottingham of Rommel Chesapeake, Inc.; Jennifer Layton of Layton’s Chance Vineyards and Winery; and Sandy Fitzgerald-Angello of Pohanka Automotive Group of Salisbury, among others.

For more information visit the Ratcliffe Shore Hatchery website at

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