Judges selected for ‘Shark Tank Gilroy’

Xochilt and Frank Jimenez, from San Diego, purcahse clothes for their three-year-old son Tuesday from Mango Street Kids store owner Amber Madrone. The couple, who were born in Gilroy, have been shopping at the store for the past two years whenever they ar

The “Sharks” to whom entrepreneurs will pitch their business visions for downtown Gilroy during the “Shark Tank Gilroy” event in June have finally been announced.

The trio that will determine the winner of the competition modeled after a popular TV show consists of Katherine Filice, owner of Articulate Solutions; Jose Montes, owner of D and S Enterprises; and Amber Madrone, owner of Mango Street Kids.

“I’m happy to participate in any event that draws attention to downtown Gilroy,” Filice said. “I have always felt that it’s a fantastic place to do business.”

Jose Montes has a varied portfolio when it comes to business experience. He is involved in real estate and import-export interests and also owns several downtown buildings.

“He has an energy and a passion that is infectious,” said James Suner, president of the Gilroy Downtown Business Association and driving force behind “Shark Tank Gilroy.”

Amber Madrone runs a thriving retail store that specializes in children’s clothing and accessories. Madrone is also a former president of the GDBA.

“She brings a wealth of experience and insights to the table,” Suner noted.

The competition is inspired by the hugely popular ABC program “Shark Tank” and will see aspiring business owners pitch their commercial visions to a trio of experienced local business people.

The live forum event to crown the winner will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, June 8 at the Old City Hall located at 7400 Monterey St. in Gilroy.

The winning entrepreneur will receive a $50,000 grant, a reduced-rate lease on a downtown Gilroy location and mentoring from a team made up of Gilroy’s most experienced local business moguls and entrepreneurs.

Suner says the “Sharks” are open to any proposed business models.

“We encourage all entrepreneurs to pursue this exciting opportunity, whether your vision is an art gallery, brewery or a hookah lounge,” Suner said.

Applicants must submit a detailed business proposal by 5 p.m. May 17 and attend a walk-through of vacant properties Saturday, May 18. Any available property located within Gilroy’s Historic Downtown is eligible as a “Shark Tank Gilroy” location, Suner said.

Application packets and additional information can be found on the Downtown Gilroy website www.downtowngilroy.com.