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DATE: November 27, 2012
EVENT: 2012 BUSINESS PLAN COMPETITION AWARDS
Leesburg, VA……….The 2012 Business Plan Competition of the Loudoun Small Business Development Center (SBDC) culminated November 14th with an awards dinner and ceremony at the Leesburg headquarters of the competition’s primary sponsor, K2M, Inc. Eric Major, the company’s President and CEO, began the competition four years ago to stimulate and support business development. The other sponsor was New Vantage Group, Active Angel Investor Funds. A panel of twelve area business leaders in the fields of finance, law, economic development and entrepreneurship judged the written plans of the eighteen contestants as well as the oral presentations of the nine finalists.
Winners were announced at the evening gala. In the Scalable Business Model category (market opportunity sufficiently large to develop annual sales of $50-$100 million), they were First Place: Trailhead Gear & Archery – Rudy Hassall, whose blog propelled him into starting a business when companies asked if they could promote their products on the popular site, and Second Place: Burns & Burns, LLC dba High Angle Associates – Frank and Matthew Burns, a father and son with long careers in fire and rescue work, which gives them expertise for a business selling technical rescue equipment to public safety agencies. Winners in the Local Business Model category were First Place: Georges Mill Farm Artisan Cheese, LLC – Molly and Sam Kroiz, from an eighth-generation farm near Lovettsville, and Second Place: Layered Cake Patisserie, LLC – Barbara and Anthony Chavez, graduates of the top-rated Culinary Art Institute of America.
Winners earned monetary awards totaling $3,750 plus a services package, but current and past contestants cite other benefits of participating in the annual competition. For Molly Kroiz, “…it was wonderful to get feedback from so many experienced and talented business people. We are grateful to the SBDC and K2M for providing this opportunity for businesses in Loudoun County. The prizes and advice will be helpful in the coming months as we prepare to sell cheese at farmer’s markets and in wineries and restaurants this spring.” Rudy Hassall noted that he entered the competition “in hopes of receiving constructive critiquing of the business plan from the judges on the panel….Needless to say, winning exceeded our expectations! The feedback on the business plan that we have received thus far and the connections we have made are priceless. [They] will assist us in catapulting the business plan into a real business! Moreover, none of this would have been possible without the dedication, expertise, professionalism and assistance from…the Loudoun SBDC [team].”
The other competitors were Airsoft Combat Town LLC – David Kilcy; Amazing Grace Pharmaceuticals, Inc. – David Chau, Ph.D.; AtomiCrowd – James Doiron; Bookerville LLC – Cindy and John Amato; Chauffered Transportation Services & Consulting – Odessa Basil; CHIMOLE LLC – Yovanna Reiser; GeoBTU – Girard Gurgick; LinguaArt Services – Catherine Fetterman; OuiBake LLC – Carol E. Sapienza; RentADrill.com – Lori Brooks; Social Media Maxima – Andrea Howard; Solar4Leesburg LLC dba Sol4r – Dr. Mary A. Haberl, Torsten Seling and Joseph Sanchez; Tag This Car LLC – Amit Sharma, and; The Run Around Hound, LLC – Ashley Kennedy.
The total value of the Local Business Category Services Prize Package given to Georges Mill Farm Artisan Cheese, LLC was $5,500. Donators to the package were 3-Tiers for Cake, LLC; Comfort Suites, Leesburg; DunlapWeaver, PLLC; Hampton Inn & Suites-Leesburg and Homewood Suites by Hilton-Leesburg; HR Goddess, LLC; Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce; Loudoun Handyman; Mason Enterprise Center-Leesburg/Loudoun County; Reston Limousine; The Run Around Hound LLC; The Loyal Local LLC, and; Your Newsy Notes, LLC.