Invention garners Bennett senior $5,000 business award

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James M. Bennett High School senior Tyler Dunn was awarded $5,000 from Shore Hatchery, through the Salisbury University Ratcliffe Shore Hatchery competition.

Eighteen community businesses vied for prize money on April 21 as they pitched Shark Tank-style to the Hatchery’s board of directors.

Dunn, 17, was one of the youngest competitors.

He is a participant in the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy, known as YEA, a six-month after school program that walks students through the process of launching their own businesses.

With his business partner, Jordan Palmer, Dunn received $5,000 for their endeavor and two expert business mentors.

Their business sells the Cap Strap, which eliminates having to reach into a container of sticky powder — such as  drink mix, laundry detergent or protein supplement – to find the scoop.

The Cap Strap attaches to the lid with an adhesive, so it’s convenient.

“When you open the lid, the strap will hold the scooper so you don’t have to look for it. We have them all over the house,” Dunn said, crediting Palmer for the idea.

Cap Straps are manufactured locally, at Ahpharma Pharmaceuticals, and sold at Angello’s Unique Gifts on West Main Street. The cost is $5 for three.

Once it’s patented, it will be sold at other locations, and online, as well.

When Dunn demonstrated the Cap Strap at a trade show at the Wicomico  County library, he sold enough to earn $120 in two hours.

The Salisbury resident plans to study accounting at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Va. Known for his outstanding baseball skills, Dunn, the son of Terry and Kristie Dunn, received an academic scholarship.

Reach Susan Canfora at scanfora@newszap.com.

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