Young Entrepreneurs from Five Colleges vie for Prizes and Kudos

November 11, 2013

TEN Holds its First Business Plan Competition

The Winners!  Scroll down to see the outcome

TACOMA, Wash. – Student teams from five Puget Sound area universities will compete for prizes of up to $2,500 in the first Business Plan Competition organized by the Tacoma Entrepreneur Network (TEN). Maybe even more importantly—the college students will be vying to catch the eye of local investors and entrepreneurs who will be scrutinizing their creative business skills.

The Wednesday, Nov. 13 competition will take place 6–9 p.m. in the Tahoma Room of Commencement Hall at University of Puget Sound. TEN is a two-year-old initiative started in Puget Sound’s School of Business and Leadership that aims to promote local entrepreneurship by engaging college students and local business entrepreneurs in strategic events.

A total of 18 undergraduate student teams from Seattle Pacific University, Seattle University, University of Puget Sound, University of Washington Tacoma, and University of Washington Bothell will compete.

The contesting teams wrote business plans that will be assessed by about 20 entrepreneurs, investors, and economic or entrepreneurship experts who are acting as judges. At the November 13 event, the teams will give ten-minute presentations, followed by ten minutes of questions and answers. The business plans will be assessed on their feasibility, innovation, growth potential, investment potential, and the team’s ability to execute the plan.

The winners will be announced shortly before 9 p.m. The judges will then offer teams feedback. The grand prize is $2,500 for the best overall plan, with first and second prizes of $1,500 and $500 respectively in each of three categories: financial outcomes, environmental outcomes, and social outcomes.

 A Moving Forward Dinner, including winners and judges, will be held Wednesday, Nov. 20 at 6 p.m. in the Tahoma Room of Commencement Hall. Students will have display tables to share their ideas with investors and advisors who may be able to offer advice on moving their business plans forward.

The judges in the TEN Business Plan Competition include business and institutional leaders from A People’s Choir, Ascension Health Ventures, Blue Box Group, Business Examiner, Cake Central, Capital Market Consultants, City of Tacoma, Emergency Food Network, Fab Five, Gibson’s Frozen Yogurt Shoppe, The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, Institute for Environmental Research and Education, North Tacoma Family Health, Premier Media Group, Playback Sports, Print Northwest, Regent Resources, SURGEtacoma, United Way, and University of Washington Tacoma.

Support and sponsorship for the groundbreaking event is generously provided by the Herbert B. Jones Foundation, Eli and Amber Moreno and their SURGEtacoma business incubator, and University of Puget Sound.

About Tacoma Entrepreneur Network: Professor Lynnette Claire, who teaches business education and entrepreneurship at University of Puget Sound, founded the Tacoma Entrepreneur Network (TEN) in 2011. TEN aims to connect entrepreneurs, help their businesses grow, and give those considering a career in entrepreneurship a means to explore possibilities. In the process TEN helps to foster a strong sense of place and to build the local community. Tacoma Entrepreneur Network is funded by the Herbert B. Jones Foundation.

Grand Prize ($2500)

Sprout Organics
Urbanized agricultural system created by combining fish production and soil-free vegetable farming using emerging technology called aquaponics
Bryan Hildebrandt, Vy-Hoa Le, Nikki Spitzer, and Kirby White
Seattle Pacific University

First Prize: Economic Outcomes ($1500)

Pick-up sports (and other activities) app designed to facilitate impromptu gatherings and sports games of various types.
Bryan Player (Seattle University) and Daniel Thorson (University of Puget Sound)

Runner Up: Economic Outcomes ($500)

ODAS Sock Co.
LLC company selling high end customized socks to professional men.
Aaron Burbank, Denise Cannon, Sara Holt, and Onias Kaunda
University of Washington Tacoma

First prize: Environmental Outcomes ($1500)

Sprout Organics
Urbanized agricultural system created by combining fish production and soil-free vegetable farming using emerging technology called aquaponics
Bryan Hildebrandt, Vy-Hoa Le, Nikki Spitzer, and Kirby White
Seattle Pacific University

Runner Up: Environmental Outcomes ($500)

Terra Lumen Candles
Online soy candle making business, making how-to videos, and selling kits to DIY at home.
Lisa Bruce, Marissa Long, Olga Torba, and Alyssa Ulrich
University of Washington Tacoma

First Prize: Social/Societal Outcomes ($1500)

Carbon Comics
Carbon Comics is the dream of our inner child; the child that found refuge and hope in superheroes. We want to deliver a comic book to children who need the same things, but don’t have access like we did.
David Leslie and Alec MacCallum
University of Puget Sound

Runner Up: Social/Societal Outcomes ($500)

DIY Cakes
Do It Yourself cake decorating: Seattle shop where you choose your cake layers, frosting flavors and toppings, then have fun decorating.
Emmy Masangcay and Shelby Senaga
University of Puget Sound

For more about the TEN Business Plan Competition visit:

Join TEN on Facebook at:

For directions and a map of the University of Puget Sound campus: For accessibility information please contact or 253.879.3236

Press photos of previous TEN events are available upon request.
Photos on page: Students compete in a 2011 TEN event: Innovate! Create!

Tweet this: Aspiring #entrepreneurs! @TacomaEnts business plan contest @univpugetsound, Wed. Nov. 13, 6–8 p.m.

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