Barbecue spice and pet carrier start-ups launch Kickstarter campaigns

Two Metro East start-ups – both assisted by the Illinois Small Business Development Center Network – are in the midst of crowd-funding campaigns to grow their emerging companies.

Code 3 Spices, the Maryville-based brainchild of veteran police officer Mike Radosevich and former IT professional Chris Bohnemeier, bottles award-winning barbecue spice blends used on the grill, in the smoker and throughout the kitchen. Company owners are also committed to giving back to the community through its support of first responders and their families. Fifty cents of each Code 3 Spices bottle sold is donated to a growing number of charities and support organizations.

“We’re trying to grow a business that gives back in a big and meaningful way to those who serve, protect and defend,” Radosevich said. “A successful campaign will give us the chance to scale up operations, expand our marketing efforts and position Code 3 as a national brand in 2015.”

“Spicing It Up Across America,” Code 3’s Kickstarter, began Sunday, Sept. 21 with a goal of raising $75,000 in 30 days. To view and pledge toward Code 3’s campaign, see kickstarter.com/projects.

The second Illinois SBDC Network client using Kickstarter is Pet Cooler Carrier, co-founded by Elizabeth Lakamp. The company, based in Troy, builds pet-healthy, hard-sided carriers equipped with innovative cooling, shading and hydration features to keep its occupants safe during transit.

“Our company’s goal is to prevent heat-related injury or death to the pets we love,” said Lakamp. “This campaign will enable PCC to build larger carriers to care for a whole segment of dogs and animals still at risk.”

PCC is already halfway through its Kickstarter campaign “Ice Makes Us The Coolest Carrier.” The goal is to raise $100,000 by Thursday, Oct. 9. To view and support PCC’s Kickstarter, visit kickstarter.com.

The Illinois Metro East SBDC has nurtured both start-ups with a menu of expertise, including marketing, legal and financial resources and support.

For information on the Metro East SBDC’s menu of services provided free to businesses throughout a nine-county region of Southwestern Illinois, contact the organization at (618) 650-2929 or [email protected]

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