NewsPolk County


Polk County non-profit helps catapult small businesses to the next level

Posted at 5:02 PM, Mar 23, 2021

LAKELAND, Fla. — You can usually find the owners of Krazy Kombucha selling their fermented beverages at farmers markets around Polk County.

Pretty soon they’ll be opening a storefront in Lakeland, where they’ll be able to sell kombucha on tap, thanks to a $10,000 grant they received from Catapult Lakeland.

“We are hoping to put in a 16 to possibly 20 tap line because we do have upwards of 25 flavors of kombucha,” said Wendy Johnson, owner of Krazy Kombucha.

Catapult is a non-profit that launches Lakeland's entrepreneurs by offering micro-grant funding, startup resources and mentoring.

Last week in a Shark Tank style competition the organization gave out a total of $37,500 to five small business owners including Krazy Kombucha.

“A lot of these companies they’re at that point where they can't self-fund it and so just this small capital investment allows them to purchase something that’s needed for their company. And it's going to help them maybe increase staff, increase revenue, decrease time spent on creating their product or service, so it’s really giving them that boost that they need,” said Christina Graham, president of Catapult Lakeland.

Entrepreneurs are asked to give 25% of the investment back, to pay it forward to other up-and-coming small business owners.

“There's a huge group of people that don’t know that we’re here locally so having that connection to Catapult is priceless,” said Johnson.