The community business plan competition returns for another round with a new approach


Randy Rudasics, manager of the Yampa Valley Entrepreneurship Center, is hoping for community support for the annual business plan competition, and hopes the change in format will bring more entrepreneurs to the table for this year’s event.
John F. Russell / The Steamboat Pilot & Today

For more than a decade, the Yampa Valley Entrepreneurship Center’s Community Business Plan Competition has provided a platform for local entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas and, if good enough, pocket some startup cash.

The competition helped owners of companies like Chill Angel, Grass Sticks, Mountain Pine Manufacturing, Hive 180, Town Hall Outdoor and Steamboat Social turn their business ideas into reality and helped grow the local economy.

The race is back this year, but Randy Rudasics, manager of the Yampa Valley Entrepreneurship Center, said there are few changes to the operation of the long-running event for 10 of the past 11 years — the only break. Coming during the epidemic.

After some discussion and program evaluation in other mountain communities, the entrepreneurship center is moving to an event called the “Community Pitch Plus Competition,” Rudasics said.

“Pitch events allow entrepreneurs to reach a wider audience without the heavy burden of developing a full business plan,” Rudasics explains. “The last couple of years, I think, we’ve been getting marginal attendance, whereas I’m seeing gumball events and other cities that get 10 to 20 people. I don’t know if the new generation wants to spend the time and energy to write a comprehensive plan, so this design of a business model might be a little daunting for some, but it still provides the meat and potatoes. the plan”

That business model canvas represents 40% of the output, business volume 45% and financial forecasting 15%. Rudasiks added that the competition will be held at the end of September, giving local entrepreneurs time to put the business model canvas in order and work on their fields.

Rudasics said he is hard at work organizing sponsorships and endorsements that he hopes will help boost this year’s awards. It is hoping to raise between $15,000 and $20,000, which will be awarded to the top three businesses at the end of the competition.

On Monday, Rudasics was working to offer huge cash prizes to line up sponsors.

“I’m looking for sponsorship money right now,” Rudasics said. “So far, the city and county have stepped up as sponsors, and I hope many other businesses will as well.”

He said he had sent 18 emails to various companies in the past week in contact with many businesses. He will be out of town later this week, but hopes to start monitoring when he returns next week.

Anyone interested in sponsoring the event can contact him at his office at 970-457-4529 or, he said.

The Economic Development Partnership of Root County, a nonprofit organization, is the program’s budget agent. Donations may be tax deductible for business profits. Any donation of $250 will receive a donation receipt letter from the partnership for tax purposes.

“I’m excited to continue this program, which has gained tremendous support and visibility every year,” Rudasics wrote in an email. “We hope this format change will encourage greater participation and encourage new business energy in our community.”


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