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Fast Pitch competition offers thousands of dollars in prize money for winning Riverside County entrepreneur

12-28 ppp money

Liz Wong is a nurse anesthetist at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs who has invented a patented medical device, which decreases surgical site infections and catheter-related bloodstream infections.

"So what we have done is we have invented an intravenous port and syringe system that is completely encased in a sterile chamber," said Wong. 

Wong began working on her invention 11 years ago and is still about two years away from bringing it to market.

She got a nice boost in 2018 when she won the local Fast Pitch competition, sponsored by the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership.

She later won a $1,500 honorarium, placing third at the county level.

"Well it's a little bit nerve-wracking because you have to stand before an audience and explain your journey to date," said Wong. 

Laura James, with CVEP, says the agency started the competition 4 years ago.

Last year's was cancelled because of Covid-19.

"What we hope to accomplish is a couple of things. First of all to celebrate the innovation that is here in the greater Palm Springs area but also to help draw some of the unseen or unknown innovators out of the wood work," said James. 

During the competition contestants are required to make a five minute presentation to a panel of judges. 

The judges then question the contestants.

But James says treatment from the judges is "friendly",  which is not always the case on ABC'S hit TV show Shark Tank.

The winner of the local competition April 14th at the Mary Pickford theater wins $1,000 worth of business services and the chance to compete at the county level for a chance to win $10,000.

"It gave me the confidence that people recognize the importance of my product," said Wong. 

The deadline to apply for the local Fast Pitch competition is Monday April 5th. 

Use the link below to learn more about the event and to apply to participate. 

https://cvep.com/event/fast-pitch-greater-palm-springs-2021/

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Tom Tucker

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