Venture Works names business plan contest finalists

Huntington, Ind.—Today, Venture Works announced the finalists in the inaugural Huntington County Business Plan Competition with prizes for winning competitors totaling $10,000.

Finalists include the following:

Aspiring Indie—Ryan Imel, a sophomore Bible and religion major from Roanoke, Ind.

Aspiring Indie seeks to become a full-service marketing/communication company by adding photography and audio recording to the services offered in the coming years. Aspiring Indie believes everyone has the right to quality, affordable, effective communication. The company offers a number of communication solutions in the interest of providing services to businesses, organizations, and individuals in Northeast Indiana.

Cellu-Redi—Jim Almeda of Wabash, Ind., founder of Cellu-Redi

Cellu-Redi’s mission is to provide an opportunity for all homeowners to have an affordable choice in the home automation industry. Cellu-Redi offers control to homes or businesses using an ordinary cell phone.

Innovation Mapping—Joel Holloway of Roanoke, Ind., co-founder and operations manager of Innovation Mapping.

Innovation Mapping provides a comprehensive infrastructure asset knowledge management system in the form of GIS software and related services. Innovation Mapping has developed a process and products that enhance projects from utility mapping and inventory programs to facility management and marketing data needs.

Northeast Indiana Driving Academy—Gary Town of Huntington, Ind., a 1988 Huntington University graduate with a Bachelor of Science in elementary education

Northeast Indiana Driving Academy exists to train students to be safe and courteous drivers. NEIDA will provide driver safety programs, drivers’ education programs, as well as driving lessons.

Shoe Skinz—Anne Powers of Huntington, Ind., a freelance artist.

Shoeskinz protects shoes from the elements, along with protecting the floors in houses, cars, or gyms, and keeps feet warmer than wet, dirty sneakers do.

Spot O’Tee—Bethany McGraw, a sophomore applied exercise science major from Perrysburg, Ohio

Spot O’ Tee exists to provide Huntington County with quality golf facilities to ensure fun, safe, and quality family entertainment for all ages and skill level. Spot O’ Tee would provide a miniature golf, driving range, and café to the community to help counteract the movement out of the county.

Finalists will make a 30-minute presentation about their business plans to a panel of local judges and answer questions at Huntington University on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. in the upper level of Habecker Dining Commons. Cash prizes of $5,000, $3,000 and $2,000 will be awarded to the first, second and third place winners as well as other in-kind support.

Judges include Darlene Stanley of Johnson’s Junction, Rick DeLaney of DeLaney, Hartburg & Roth, Tom Mills of First Federal Bank, John Mignone of Mignone Communications, Kevin Quickery of United REMC, Carol Pugh of Huntington County United Economic Development, Kay Schwob of Huntington University, Perry Collins of Roanoke Town Council, Dennis Massengill who retired from Wells Fargo Bank and Jon Knecht who retired from Transwheel Manufacturing.

The purpose of the competition, according to Lora Bulla, Huntington University and Venture Works representative, “is to encourage local entrepreneurs to take the next step; whether it is the launch of a new venture or expansion of an existing one, the creation of a business plan will keep their project moving. The first prize of $5,000 will go a long way to providing pre-seed funds for an incubating idea or business.”

Rules of the competition required interested participants to be Huntington County residents or students attending a college or university within the county.

Entries for the competition will be judged on (1) originality of idea, (2) prospect for growth, (3) probability of success, (4) use of technical workforce and (5) clarity of business presentation.

Venture Works is a resource center for entrepreneurs established by Huntington County United Economic Development, in partnership with Huntington University, Northeast Indiana Innovation Center, Huntington County Commissioners and Huntington County Chamber of Commerce.
Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S.News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest. Founded in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington University is located on a contemporary, lakeside campus in northeast Indiana. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).


Heather Barkley
Director of Communications
Joanne Green
Sports Information Director