Welcome to the 2018 Enterprise Challenge!

What is the Enterprise Challenge?

The Enterprise Challenge is an annual business plan contest for new and emerging companies in Yakima and Kittitas Counties. We believe it is a great way for our organization and the Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce to celebrate small business and support promising ventures in Central Washington. Over 80 entrepreneurs have competed in the contest since its inception and many of them have gone on to start businesses in our communities.

Over $17,500 in cash prizes will be awarded to contest winners this year (1st place wins $10,000! 2nd Place gets $5,000 and 3rd Place gets $2,500). The bigger goal though is to help every entrepreneur involved in the contest advance or improve their business.

Contestant Benefits:

  • Instruction on business planning, marketing, financing, technology and related topics.
  • Follow-up help sessions with experts in finance, marketing, law and other business topics
  • Feedback on plans submitted by at least seven judges who have practical business experience
  • Opportunities to network and collaborate with other great entrepreneurs
  • Significant publicity for your business through local media and other channels

How the Competition Works:

  • Contestants attend classes and tutoring sessions that help them develop their business plans.
  • Plans are submitted to judges who evaluate each enterprise*
  • Contestants with the highest scores move on through two more stages of the contest over the following two months
  • The contest features a pitch your business trade show and a final presentation round
  • Winners are announced a gala awards banquet

*Judges use scoring criteria to evaluate contestants on how well they have thought through and developed their enterprise’s marketing, financing, management, and operations plans. These judges provide contestants feedback on their ventures and business plans which is invaluable information for anyone launching a new business. (Click here for contest rules and scoring details)

The biggest benefit is that participants get the counsel and support they need to get their businesses off to a strong start. We designed the contest so that it helps all participants even if they don’t advance to the winner’s circle. By offering in-depth business seminars and offering hands on counseling to everyone in the contest, we are confident that our participants gain traction with their enterprise and learn what it takes to launch a successful business.

Entrepreneurs from all parts of Yakima and Kittitas Counties have boosted their businesses with the help of the Enterprise Challenge. You may recognize Jenny Maes Gluten Free Bakery, Washington Vision Therapy, Nana Kates, Madd Hatters Haunt and Amusement, and Tieton Farm & Creamery, all businesses that entered the contest and are thriving today.

If you have questions about the contest or want more information, please contact Jean Brown at 509-575-1140 or jean@ycda.com or Sarah Truglio at 509-925-2002 or sarah@kittitascountychamber.com.

Contest Rules & Eligibility Requirements

The Enterprise Challenge is for individuals, teams or companies that are located in Yakima and Kittitas County.  Participants must comply with the following:

  1. Teams and/or businesses must be based in either Yakima or Kittitas County, Washington and/or plan to locate the business in either County.
  2. Business plans may be submitted by individuals or teams.  Teams may have a maximum of five members.
  3. For a team or company, at least 50% of the partners must be located in either Yakima or Kittitas County, or the business is located in either County.
  4. The applicant and team members that are identified as owners, managers or primary business funders are required to attend at least one workshop and attend the Entrepreneur Trade Show to advance to the final round of the contest.
  5. Contestants under 18 years of age must have a signed consent form from a parent or legal guardian.
  6. The business must have been in operation for less than two years with gross receipts under $1 million, or it must be a new business venture.  New Vision may request supporting documentation for verification.
  7. Business must be ‘for-profit’ with any area of commercial endeavor valid (nonprofit organizations running for profit ventures are eligible to compete in the contest).
  8. Contest judges will recues themselves if he/she has a conflict of interest (i.e. family, financial or business relationship).
  9. Judges decisions are final, including interpretation of the rules.
  10. Previous Enterprise Challenge participants may enter with a new business; however cash prize winners from previous Enterprise Challenges are not eligible.
  11. Winners will receive half their prize money at the awards ceremony and the other half at a mutually agreed upon milestone.  (i.e.- official opening of business).

**In the event that the contest does not generate enough participants, New Vision reserves the right to amend cash prize amounts or registration deadlines.

Judging Criteria 

There are five categories, each worth 5 possible points for a total of  25

Business Opportunity- 5 possible points

Does the plan:

  • describe the problem the company is solving and its distinctive solution?
  • identify and describe the target market?
  • identify and describe the competition and key advantages?

Business Execution- 5 possible points

Does the plan:

  • describe the marketing and sales plan?
  • describe the company operations?
  • identify the company milestones and metrics?

Company Overview- 5 possible points

Does the plan:

  • describe the ownership structure?
  • describe the history of the owners and businesses?
  • describe the team of owners and managers?

Financial Plan- 5 possible points

Does the plan:

  • describe the key financial projections and forecast?
  • describe the use and sources of funding?
  • (FINAL ROUND ONLY) provide realistic financial statements (must include profit & loss, cash flow, and balance sheet)?

Economic Impact- 5 possible points

Does the plan:

  • demonstrate a business investment in the community, county, or region?
  • demonstrate potential to grow and produce substantial impacts?
  • demonstrate the creation of direct and indirect jobs?

We are excited you have decided to join this year’s business plan contest.  To register simply click the Register Now button below and it will direct you to the online registration form and payment options.

  • The EARLY Registration Deadline is December 29th, 2017 at 5:00 p.m  –  Early Registration Fee $200. *
  • FINAL Registration Deadline is January 5, 2018 at 5:00 p.m  –  Fee $225.*

Fee is for an individual or a team, up to five members are allowed on a team.

REGISTER NOW

NOTE:  We process credit card payments through PayPal, you do not need a PayPal account but it does apply a $3 processing fee.  We do accept personal checks, just click that option on the payment indicator and deliver a check to our office by the deadlines above.  Thank you.

*In the event that the contest does not generate enough participants, Yakima County Development Association reserves the right to amend cash prize amounts or registration deadlines.