The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

April 12, 2014

Business model competition apps being accepted


Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Autry Technology Center is accepting applications for the third Cherokee Strip Business Model Competition.

People interested in entering the contest have until April 18 to create business plans for the competition.

“The competition promotes strategic planning and encourages the testing and implementation of a business model.” said Cara Carson, Autry’s self-employment coordinator. “Participants will be expected to prepare and present an initial business plan as an investment proposition that will attract customers and be a sound investment. Selected entrants will be chosen to compete in a second round, which will include an oral presentation and promotional video.”

Final prize amounts have not been released, but in past years the first-place team has been awarded $15,000 to help launch its business. Entrepreneurs and organizations interested in developing the business community donate the funds because they recognize the importance of helping new entrepreneurs and the impact it has on Enid and northwest Oklahoma, Carson said.

Past winners include Over the Fence Farms, a local food manufacturer and co-packer; Novel Energies, formerly known as Fuel Conversion Solutions; Hughes Pharmacy in Medford; Travis and Presley; Privation Printing; and Jos. Lamerton Woodworking.

“The competition was created to put education into action,” said Brian Gaddy, coordinator of the James W. Strate Center for Business Development at Autry. “Enid has a multitude of educational opportunities for business owners, and we wanted to add the motivation of a contest with significant funding up for grabs to get aspiring and new business owners to apply business concepts to their projects.”

Sponsors for this year’s competition include Autry Tech, Grow Enid, Enid Regional Development Alliance, Central National Bank, Ward Petroleum, Encompass Financial Services and OG&E. Additional sponsors are being accepted.

Seasoned entrepreneurs or area companies that want to get involved have opportunities to mentor teams, present at lunch-and-learn sessions and donate funds. Grow Enid has fundraising goals of about $40,000 each year, used to pay for specialized training opportunities and award the competition finalists.

Rules, guidelines and judging criteria for the contest are available at the James W. Strate Center for Business Development. For information, call Autry Tech, (580) 242-2750.