5 to compete for $50k business prize Friday.

September 12, 2017

5 to compete for $50k business prize Friday.

VICTORY TOWNSHIP — On Sept. 15, five entrepreneurs will present to a panel of judges in front of a live audience why their new business deserves $50,000 in start-up funding – and the winner will be announced at the end of the evening. The public is invited to attend this free event Sept. 156 to 8 p.m. at West Shore Community College’s Center Stage Theater, 3000 N. Stiles Rd. A finalist meet-and-greet will precede the event from 5 to 6 p.m. in the theater lobby.

New this year, a second place winner will be awarded $5,000 provided by the Mason County Growth Alliance along with donated consultations from the Chamber plus a few professional service firms.

Administered by the Ludington & Scottville Area Chamber of Commerce, the Momentum Business Plan Competition is in its third year of offering a $50,000 cash prize to an eligible independent for-profit or non-profit venture with a viable business idea, plan or invention; or an existing organization or company with less than $100,000 in sales or revenue annually. The winner must start or relocate the business in Mason County, Mich. Eligible contestants submitted a detailed business plan by July 31, and the five finalists were announced Aug. 21. Finalists had the opportunity to meet with a mentor from the Ludington & Scottville Area Chapter of SCORE for coaching and feedback, after which they had the option of submitting a revised plan by Sept. 8.

“Momentum Pitch Night has become one of our most anticipated annual business events in Mason County, as we get to witness five inspiring entrepreneurs right in our community,” said Ludington & Scottville Area Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Kathy Maclean. “And this year, we’re excited to see that all five contestants are already burgeoning local businesses wishing to expand.”

Each contestant will have five minutes to present highlights of his/her business plan (pitch order will be determined by a random drawing), followed by seven minutes of questions from six judges. The judges will have already reviewed the finalists’ business plans prior to the pitch night. Judges will deliberate off-stage while Kandy Potter, owner of KandyLand Dairy, speaks about her year as the 2016 Momentum Competition winner.

Judges include John Wilson, CEO of Western Land Services; Kathy Maclean, president and CEO of the Ludington & Scottville Area Chamber of Commerce; Tom Paine, president of Metalworks; Ray Biggs, president and CEO of West Shore Bank; Jim Scatena, local business leader; and Kandy Potter, 2016 Momentum winner as a guest judge.

Five Finalists

Following is a list of the top five finalists who will present their business plans at the Sept. 15 pitch night (listed in alphabetical order by company). For the first time, all five finalists are already established businesses hoping to expand; also, one is a 2015 Momentum Competition winner:

  • Arctic FoodsAlex Hardy, Hart. Arctic Foods is a new company to the area producing non-GMO fruit-based freezer jam and ice cream spreads. Its products have been sold at the Ludington Farmers Market.
  • All Occasions Events and Floral, Wendy Morrow and Cheryl Freeman, Ludington. Finalists in the 2015 Momentum Competition, this event planning business has been expanding since then, now with a new storefront in downtown Ludington at 110 N. James St. that they moved into this summer. They are also taking on the new venture of being a local floral shop while continuing event planning.
  • Cynthia Lang Pilates, Cynthia Lang, Ludington. Cynthia Lang Pilates is a Ludington-based business, focused on providing Pilates services to the community. She moved into her Ludington studio at 913 S. Washington St. in June 2016 and has been building up a following ever since.
  • Ludington Holistic Health, Carol Hoekstra, ND; Ludington. Ludington Holistic Health is a Naturopathic Health and Wellness Clinic located in downtown Ludington at 220 S. James St., where it has been since March 2016.  Carol Hoekstra, a naturopathic doctor (ND), has been helping people discover healthier living since 2013.
  • Ludington Spin and YogaJacob and Sara Seng, Ludington. Ludington Spin and Yoga opened its doors in September 2015 at 130 E. Ludington Ave., offering a different mix of workouts in one location. The owner is looking to expand to a new location while continuing to help make the community healthier.

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