Cocovana wins "Get Started Gainesville" competition

The "Get Started Gainesville" competition was held on Tuesday evening at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

The competition gives entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses the chance to pitch their business plan.

The winner was Cocovana, a tropical lifestyle company focused on creating innovative tools for opening coconuts.

They took home a prize pack valued at $20,000, including Cox Business Services.

Sheldon Barrett, the owner of Cocovana, said "living in South Florida, I had the coconut trees in my front yard, so my dad would chop open those coconuts with a machete. But, when he wasn't home I couldn't drink my own fresh coconut water. So, I created my own tool, so I could open them up when my dad wasn't home, and that's how I started my company."

More than 30 area businesses applied to compete. Five were selected as finalists, before Cocovana was selected the winner.