the natural gripNext month’s Venture Connectors Luncheon will feature a keynote from Ashley Drake, co-owner and CEO of The Natural Grip, who appeared on ABC’s “Shark Tank” and came home with $125,000 for 25 percent of the business from celebrity shark Robert Herjavec.

The Natural Grip manufactures specialized handgrips for weightlifters, gymnasts, cross trainers and other athletes that prevent tearing and blistering of hands while training.

Drake is also an active-duty U.S. Army captain. According to a news release, Drake “serves as the formerly used defense sites (FUDS) program manager in the environmental support section in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s military project management branch, with responsibility for planning, programming, directing, reviewing and ensuring performance of FUDS environmental engineering mission/projects in the Louisville District.”

Her appearance on “Shark Tank,” in November 2014, was so solid that it created a bidding war between Herjavec and Daymond John. You can watch that showdown here.

The Venture Connectors Luncheons are the first Wednesday of every month. These events feature announcements, an entrepreneurial pitch or two, and a keynote panel or speakers.

Tickets are free for Venture Connectors members and $40 for students and visitors and include a lunch. You can RSVP and reserve your ticket online here. The event starts at 11:30 a.m. at the Ali Center on June 3.