SAN ANTONIO -- Veteran business owners are gathering in San Antonio to compete for top honors in a shark-tank style competition. It's part of a networking event for veterans hosted in Military City USA.
The competition took place Thursday afternoon at the Westin Hotel, although winners aren’t scheduled to be announced until later Thursday evening.
Up for grabs are $5,000 for the winner and $1,000 for second place.
Contestants included veteran business owners from all over the country who came here to San Antonio as part of the larger Elite Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Business Conference.
Contestants told Eyewitness news they hope to start growing into San Antonio and see the competition as a way to do that.
"We just like to tell our story,” said Connie Limburg, a former Navy Lieutenant and founder of Phoenix Systems International, Inc. “It encourages to others in business when they've been told, 'you can't do it.' And we've proven a small business can do it."
Limburg said her company, which transports 60-80 ton tanks for the military, is based in Tennessee but would make a natural fit in San Antonio, where there’s plenty of military presence.
Gregory Keeler, a veteran and leadership development consultant, said his company may not rely on military contracts, but he sees San Antonio as a city that values veteran-owned businesses.
“There may be someone in the crowd who, even if I'm not one of the winners, like what they hear and can put me in contact with someone that can help,” said Keeler, a former First Sergeant in the Marine Corps and founder of Michigan-based GSM Keeler Consulting.
The winner of the competition is scheduled to be announced during a banquet Thursday evening.