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Small Business Breakthrough is back for second year

"Shark Tank" style competition offers $250,000-value prize for business owners

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Small Business Breakthrough is back for its second year with goals to take another business to the next level. It's a "Shark Tank" style competition where the winner gets a comprehensive sponsorship with the Jacksonville Jaguars and a complete digital makeover from Web.com.

News4Jax spoke with last year's winner, Gil Dror, of Jacksonville Beach. 

Dror's company, Modasten, creates one-of-a-kind sunglasses made entirely from recycled skateboards. 

"It's keeping them out of the garbage," said Dror. "With the wear and tear that shows on them, there's stories behind them."

Dror had problems getting Modasten up and running.

"I didn't have the pocketbook to put it out there as much as I wanted to," said Dror.

In an effort to get his business off the ground, he entered the Small Business Breakthrough contest last year. During the competition he entered "The Cage," facing a panel of judges including Jaguars owner Shad Khan. 

"Of course you get a little nervous, but it was more fun," said Dror.

With a unique product and an interactive presentation, Modasten beat out dozens of other businesses. 

"It's a pretty amazing feeling," Dror told News4jax. 

Modasten won a sponsorship with the Jaguars and a complete digital makeover from Web.com -- a prize valued at more than $250,000. 

"It just looks soo professional. It made our business looked like we jumped 10 levels overnight... We've gotten soo much more exposure than we would've had without these two companies behind us," said Dror.

Modasten continues to reap the benefits of his big win with a huge jump in sales.

In fact, Modasten's monthly sales have more than doubled, his online sales have quintupled, and website traffic has grown 250% in the past three months.

Modasten is also expanding, selling it's sunglasses in 15 retail locations throughout the state, including the Bowden Eye & Associates on Bonneval Road.

Now Dror is urging other small business owners to enter the Small Business Breakthrough contest.

"Give it a shot, it's a good time... You're going to learn a lot about yourself and your business. Win or lose, I guarantee you'll have fun," Dror said.

Entries are being accepted through May 31. Small business owners from Central/North Florida and south Georgia are eligible to enter. Click HERE for contest rules and information.