Rahsaan Kearney and his company, EvolutionOrtho, are working to produce functional and fashionable orthopedic shoes for children – think brightly colored sneaker-style.
The company got a boost recently when Kearney won the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce Ballantyne Chapter’s PowerUp Challenge.
Kearney and EvolutionOrtho received $1,000 and services that will help the business.
In November, Kearney will compete against the six other chamber chapter winners for the grand prize of $25,000 and additional in-kind services.
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The Charlotte Chamber’s annual PowerUp Challenge gives entrepreneurs a chance to tell the local business community how their businesses can support the growth of Charlotte’s economy through innovation and entrepreneurial skills.
Kearney’s competition in the Ballantyne Chapter included Chris Efthymiou and his company, Health Insurance Geeks, and Aly Faber and her Peace In Peace Out program.
Mark Bryant, Ballantyne Chapter PowerUp chariman and competition moderator, said the competitors offered unique, worthwhile businesses and gave impressive presentations.
“Each participant had seven minutes for their presentation, so they had to encapsulate their concept in a very short time. They all did a great job,” Bryant said.
Time then was allotted for the judges and the audience to ask questions before votes were counted and the winner announced.
Kearney, a former professional football player who lives in Pineville, said he’s spent the last few years preparing to launch EvolutionOrtho’s line of shoes. He has established a manufacturing base in China, received certification from the FDA and is in the final stages of Medicaid coding.
Kearney says he’s also working with the top orthopedic companies in the country to help distribute his products, which should be available in about four months.
Kearney said the PowerUp win is exciting and serves as affirmation he is moving in the right direction.
“Winning the PowerUp Challenge is a validation that we are on the right track,” he said. “It’s an opportunity for us to go forward and spread the message of how important it is to revolutionize orthopedic shoes for children and adults.”