Westminster College Announces Opportunity Quest Business Plan Winners
Hand-made chocolate company’s business plan takes first prize of $5,000
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact Krista DeAngelis, (801) 832-2682
Jan. 30, 2009
SALT LAKE CITY – Westminster College’s Institute for New Enterprise is pleased to announce MBA student Ryan Kendrick and his team as the first place winner of the 2008-09 Opportunity Quest business plan competition for their company “Chocolot.” The announcement was made at the second annual awards banquet on January 28 where the team received an award check of $5,000.
Westminster’s Opportunity Quest, sponsored by KeyBank, Discover Card and Zions Bank is a campus-wide business plan competition that fosters and promotes business innovation at the university level by giving students a chance to create, develop and present their business ideas in front of a judging panel made up of community entrepreneurs and executives. Cash prizes were awarded to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place teams during the awards banquet.
Kendrick’s winning company, Chocolot, is a business that specializes in high-end, artisan chocolates sold through retail channels. His team included mostly members of his family, with Ryan as the team leader and key business plan strategist; his mother, Ruth Kendrick, as the talent and mastermind behind the company; his wife Melissa, was responsible for business development, and friend Brett Smith, was the graphic designer.
“Each team member had a particular area of expertise,” said Ryan. “We had a very solid business plan…and we have actual products selling in stores. We’ve proven it’s a viable idea which helped give us a leg up.”
This year's competition featured 26 teams and more than 80 students. From September through January, students participated in educational forums on marketing, business plan writing, finance and intellectual property protection. In December, 10 finalists were selected from the 26 executive summaries submitted. In January, 10 teams presented their business plans in front of a judging panel, and three winners were selected to receive cash prizes.
The 2nd place team, Sportster.com, received $3,000. Led by team leader Jason Linder, the company offers a unique web-enabled database for athletes of all ages, abilities and disciplines to quickly track and analyze their athletic achievements and training efforts throughout their sports career. Esthetica Dental Labs received a 3rd place check of $2,000. Led by Tim Andrus, the company is a service provider that empowers small dental laboratories with tools necessary to compete against larger dental labs in an evolving industry.
As Westminster’s 1st place winner, Chocolot will automatically advance as a finalist in the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge (UEC), the statewide business plan competition open to all college students across the state. All teams participating in Westminster Opportunity Quest can compete in the UEC state competition. The first place winner of the UEC will receive $40,000 in cash to launch their company.
To learn more about Westminster Opportunity Quest, visit www.westminstercollege.edu/opportunityquest. For more information on Chocolot, visit www.sweetchocolot.com.
About The Institute for New Enterprise:
The Institute for New Enterprise at Westminster College has established the Opportunity Quest business plan competition as one of its flagship programs to foster innovative ideas, and provide an experiential learning process to validate, plan and develop sustainable business models. The Institute for New Enterprise is housed under the Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business with its overall mission to help individuals create organizations that promote independence and self-sufficiency, and make significant contributions to our communities. For more information visit: http://www.westminstercollege.edu/ine
About Key Foundation:
Key Foundation is a private foundation funded by KeyCorp (NYSE:KEY). Charitable grants are given by the foundation to charitable organizations in the communities that Key serves. Grants from Key Foundation principally support organizations and institutions that promote economic independence through financial education and workforce initiatives that foster diversity and inclusion. Visit https://www.key.com/html/A-12.html to access Key's Report on Philanthropic Investment, or download the report directly at https://www.key.com/pdf/philanthropicir.pdf.
KeyBank serves the individuals and businesses of Utah with a network of 38 locations and is part of Cleveland-based KeyCorp, one of the nation's largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $101 billion. Key companies provide investment management, retail and commercial banking, consumer finance, and investment banking products and services to individuals and companies throughout the United States and, for certain businesses, internationally. For more information, visit https://www.key.com/.
Westminster is a nationally recognized, comprehensive liberal arts college. With a broad array of graduate and undergraduate programs, Westminster is distinguished by its unique environment for learning. Westminster prepares students for success through active and engaged learning, real world experiences and its vibrant campus community. Westminster’s unique location, adjacent to the Rocky Mountains and to the dynamic city of Salt Lake, further enriches the college experience. For more information, visit www.westminstercollege.edu.