Published on May 10, 2022
Last week, eight shops gave their final pitch before a panel of judges at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth as part of the Fort Worth Business Plan Competition. Three of those businesses walked away with cash prizes.
The Fort Worth Business Plan Competition is an annual celebration of the city’s entrepreneurs and small businesses that contribute so much towards the character and personality of the city. Twenty complete businesses six weeks of business development training before applying those skills to their own written plans. After the written plans are judged, the Top 8 make their final three-minute pitch to the judges, followed by a two-minute round of Q&A. The final scores are a 50-50 combination between the written and the pitch portions of the competition.
This year, the grand prize of $10,000 in cash was taken home by Lauren Kutscheke of Salted Pages, a digital marketing agency that specializes in content creation and search engine optimization for creative entrepreneurs. As grand prize winner, Kutscheke will also appear with Mayor Mattie Parker as part of her “Go Time” podcast.
Second prize – a check for $5,000 – went to Amber and Bryan Higgins of Ten Four Films LLC, a small business that specializes in storytelling for small businesses, with a focus on film production, photography, branding, website development and social media marketing.
Third prize – and a check for $3,000 – went to Dr. Allison Silveus and Dr. Yohannis De La Fuente of Unbent Inc., a company that assesses and unconscious addresses bias in the hiring and training process through web-based virtual simulations.
Additionally, Deidra Kindred of Your Healthcare Nurse Advocates won the popular vote from the audience, also known as the Perfect Pitch Prize. Your Healthcare Nurse Advocates is a patient advocacy team that educates and empowers families as they help navigate the complexities of the healthcare system. This year’s sponsor for the Perfect Pitch Prize was Printed Threads, who contributed $500 in credit for the winner to receive custom merchandise for their business.
As in previous years, the event was organized by the City of Fort Worth’s Economic Development Department, and sponsored by Frost Bank. A variety of supporting partners also helped provide feedback and mentorship to the businesses, including TechFW, HSC Innovates, SCORE Fort Worth, Tarrant County Small Business Development Center, AccelerateDFW Foundation, and the North Texas Entrepreneur Education and Training Center.
The additional businesses who made it to the Top 8:
- BLNC cowork + studio. An all-inclusive workplace and resource for creative entrepreneurs in Fort Worth.
- Heritage Music Studio. A music studio that offers small-group and private music lessons in piano, guitar, bass guitar, ukulele, violin, drums and more.
- Miguel’s Place. A local food truck expanding into a larger food truck park.
- Rejoice Dance Studio. A dance studio that provides a safe place for kids to learn dance techniques with age-appropriate music, costumes and choreography.
Photo: Lauren Kutscheke of Salted Pages holds her grand prize of $10,000, alongside Shannon Watt, executive vice president of Frost Bank; Robert Sturns, economic development director for the City of Fort Worth, and Carlo Capua, deputy chief of staff for mayor and council and the finale’s emcee.
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