A hybrid version of the annual Enterprise Challenge business plan competition is underway, co-sponsored by the Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce and the Yakima County Development Association.
Sixteen companies are vying for $ 17,500 in cash prizes at the 2022 event, which will be a mix of in-person and virtual opportunities for new and emerging businesses, said Carmela Solorzano, communications and events manager at YCDA.
“There are workshops that different competitors can attend,” Solorzano said. “Before COVID, these were all in-person opportunities, in Ellensburg and Yakima. They were all through Zoom last year, but this year we’re going to be returning to some in-person workshops, with virtual attendance as well. optional. “
The 2022 competition runs from January 6 to March 15, with eight competitors from each county. They are:
• Ike’s Creamery, an artisanal ice cream shop in Yakima
• Savage Mountain Mustard, culinary specialties including three different types of mustard, in Zillah
• Sunny Family Medicine, a primary care physician practice in Yakima
• Delra Products LLC, a manufacturing company in Yakima
• Inversion Architects, which designs, builds and sells garden houses (accessory housing) in Yakima
• Yakima Beta, an outdoor leisure equipment and clothing retail store, in Yakima
• Arts and Drafts, a bar where patrons can enjoy adult drinks while working on craft projects, in Selah
• Vista Moralez, general merchandising sales by website and drop shipping, in Grandview
• Gallivant Chocolate Company, handmade chocolates and confectionery, in Ellensburg
• Top Fly Guide Service LLC, offering fly fishing trips on the Yakima and Klickitat rivers in Ellensburg
• The Art Box LLC, event organization, rental of balloons and party supplies, in Cle Elum
• Northwest Health Collective LLC, personal training and health / wellness coaching, in Ellensburg
• Garage Studio Fitness LLC, a personal training and group class studio, in Ellensburg
• Make Music Ellensburg, a community music school with in-person and virtual classes and events, in Ellensburg
• Mountain Mobile Urgent Care, a home medical care provider in Ellensburg
• The Botany Shop, a houseplant and botanical retail store in downtown Ellensburg.
The teams / companies in the competition must be based and have 50% of the partners located in Yakima or Kittitas counties, according to the rules listed on the Kittitas room website. The business must have been in business for less than two years with gross revenues of less than $ 1 million, or it must be a new business venture. Franchises and chains are not eligible.
All competitors must be over the age of 18 and teams can have a maximum of three members. Businesses must be “for-profit” businesses – non-profit organizations are eligible to enter the competition, but are required to produce for-profit financial data and business strategies, according to the rules.
Candidates attend in-person or online classes and tutoring sessions that help them develop their business plans, which are submitted to the judges for evaluation.
“Judges use scoring criteria to assess applicants on how well they have thought through and developed their company’s marketing, financing, management and operating plans,” Kittitas Chamber says on its website. “These judges provide candidates with feedback on their businesses and business plans, which is invaluable information for anyone starting a new business.”
The candidates with the highest scores go through the competition rounds, which includes a “Pitch your business” trade show and a final introductory round.
Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony or via video, depending on local health measures, the chamber said. The prizes are $ 10,000 for first place, $ 5,000 for second place and $ 2,500 for third.
Over 250 entrepreneurs from all regions of Yakima and Kittitas counties participated in the latest Enterprise Challenge competitions. These include the following companies: Basecamp Outfitters, The Tap, Sunnyside Meat Packers, Junk-Bros, Whipsaw Brewing, Taqueria La Palapa, Pearl Street Optical, Jenny Maes Gluten Free Bakery, Claim Clothing, MAK Daddy Coffee Roasters, Madd Hatters Haunt and Amusement, HolBen Honey, Roud Tuit Kitchen, Ag Drone Data Services, and Tieton Farm & Creamery.