Entrepreneurs learn the ABCs of problem-solving

Barricade International Inc. founder John Bartlett, right, and son and Vice President Ben Bartlett

Barricade International Inc. founder John Bartlett, right, and son and Vice President Ben Bartlett display their fire-blocking gel.


For most people the world of entrepreneurship, new technologies and innovation exists only in Silicon Valley, world renowned research institutions or at least in the big city — right? At its core, entrepreneurship is about problem-solving. It is about creating and developing simple solutions for people’s everyday problems. One does not have to create the world’s next greatest idea to find or realize success as an inventor or entrepreneur. It is about simple solutions to everyday problems.

Everyone, no matter the geographic location, would welcome these solutions to their problems. Entrepreneurial opportunities are swirling around each of us every day, but we must be listening for the problems.

Make no mistake, entrepreneurship is not easy. Starting a small business and creating a new product is risky, takes hard work and requires resources, time, perseverance and most always some investment of money. The good news — there are resources, techniques, ideas and business models that can help aspiring entrepreneurs reduce risks allowing them the opportunity to pursue their dreams and ideas.

Richard Zachar is the founder of BeAlert

Richard Zachar is the founder of BeAlert, which was created to help prevent children and pets from perishing in overheated cars.

One of the most important resources for the small business owner is Indian River State College. The college hosts the Florida Small Business Development Center at IRSC, a no-cost business assistance program that provides credentialed consulting, premier tools, strategies and expertise to help entrepreneurs start, grow and succeed. The IRSC School of Business offers the Entrepreneurship Technical Certificate program, a set of four business courses covering the essential knowledge and skills every entrepreneur should have when considering launching that new business or accelerating the growth of their existing operation.

Find below a group of Treasure Coast innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs who listened for the problems, worked hard and created, developed and launched a solution. These entrepreneurs pioneered their new ventures by taking advantage of all the available business assistance resources provided at Indian River State College and the Florida SBDC at IRSC.

Barricade International
Entrepreneurs: John and Ben Bartlett
Location: Hobe Sound
Phone: 800.201.3927
Website: www.firegel.com

Barricade International makes a fire-blocking gel. This product, which it designed, forms a unique thermal protective gel coating providing protection to structures, vehicles, fuel tanks and other objects. The product provides protection against radiant heat, direct flame impingement, flying brands and burning embers. The product can be applied easily and quickly with a standard garden hose and simply washed off using plain water.

Mz Perkys, a cold brew coffee

Mz Perkys, a cold brew coffee, never requires heating.

Mz Perkys Cold Brew Coffee
Entrepreneurs: Will and Carol Roberts
Location: Fort Pierce
Phone : 772.342.5698
Website: www.mzperkys.com

Mz Perkys manufactures a unique blend of cold-brew coffee. Produced locally, the product is created by steeping medium-to-coarse ground coffee in room temperature water for 18 hours. Unlike regular coffee, the Mz Perkys brand is never exposed to heat. A more robust cold brew than its competition, Mz Perkys uses an aging process with hardwoods such as maple, apple, whiskey barrel and pecan. Mz Perkys can be found in craft breweries across the Treasure Coast. Check their website for product locations and availability.

Jesse Silva, an IRSC business student

Jesse Silva, an IRSC business student, is the creator of Bar Buddy.

Bar Buddy
Entrepreneur: Jesse Silva – IRSC Business School Student
Location: Port St. Lucie
Website: www.gobarbuddy.com

Creating good times and exceptional customer experiences by connecting app users to local bars and restaurants is the goal for Bar Buddy. Customizable to both the user and bar owner, the Bar Buddy app is designed to be easy and convenient to use. Bar Buddy app users can search for bars based on happy hours, food specials, entertainment and events.

BeAlert Safety Products
Entrepreneur: Richard Zachar
Location: Port St. Lucie
Phone: 352.638.2553
Website: www.bee-alert.com

BeAlert was created to help prevent the overwhelming tragedy of children and pets perishing in overheated cars. The company decided that prevention is the only answer and created BeAlert to solve the problem. This hot car safety reminder device verbally reminds the driver to check the back seat and behind the vehicle every time the driver’s door is opened. This patented device installs in less than 60 seconds and is available in English and Spanish versions.

Entrepreneur: Steve Resta
Location: Fort Pierce
Phone: 772.828.2696
Website: www.safashor.com

A local boater uses the SafAshor ramp system.

A local boater uses the SafAshor ramp system.

SafAshore has developed a unique boat and dock gangplank system allowing for easy and safe access to your boat. SafAshor allows boaters of all ages to safely board and disembark. SafAshor extends the joy of boating to include more family members and friends. This product reduces fear and instills confidence when boarding. Boaters with moderate physical disabilities are able to enjoy the boating experience and the product helps extend years of boating enjoyment for seniors. It saves time loading passengers and supplies and is invaluable in an emergency disembarkation.

Chauncelor Howell, left, and Jose Bernazar

Chauncelor Howell, left, and Jose Bernazar are the founders of Stick & Move.

Stick & Move
Entrepreneurs: Chauncelor Howell and Jose Bernazar –
Veteran Owned and Operated
Location: Port St. Lucie
Phone: 772.828.2892
Website: www.yourcigarspot.com

Simply put, Stick & Move is the undisputed champion of the mobile cigar lounge experience. As cigar enthusiasts, these entrepreneurs believe you and your friends should be able to enjoy a cigar anytime or anyplace. Whether you received a promotion, are newly married, or simply want to unwind after a rough day at work, Stick & Move will set the mood for you. Stick & Move Cigar will provide a unique cigar experience you and your guests are sure to remember. Stick & Move carries premium hand-rolled cigars in all sizes, shapes and blends. Therefore, whatever intrigues you about cigars, allow us to set the ambiance for your special occasion.

Rudy Kirchner, left, stands with his son, Dan Kirchner

The inventor of Doctor Kirchner Natural Weed Killer and CEO of the company, Rudy Kirchner, left, stands with his son, Dan Kirchner.

Doctor Kirchner Natural Weed Killer
Entrepreneur: Rudy Kirchner
Location: Fort Pierce
Phone – 772.321.4212
Website – www.thenaturalweedkiller.com

Doctor Kirchner Natural Weed Killer was created to provide an alternative to harmful herbicides and toxic weed treatments. By addressing the weeds while preserving the environment around them, this product kills the weeds down to their roots with no glyphosate and no hormone disrupting chemicals. This no-mix spray that comes ready to use focuses on caring for the health of your environment and the ones you love. Doctor Kirchner Natural Weed Killer is available in a ready-to-spray, non-selective ocean water-based solution that is sold in 1-quart, 1-gallon, 2.5-gallon and 5-gallon jugs.

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at tcbusiness.com by Indian River Magazine Inc. For more information or to report news email staff@tcbusiness.com