Tuesday, November 6, 2012

WINNERS! The Next Generation of Entrepreneurs Business Plan Competition 2012


Dr. Anita Enriques - U.O.G. Dean of School of Business & Public Administration
Paul Sablan 3rd Place
Matthew Carpio 1st Place
Alan Cepeda 2nd Place
Frank Toves - SBDC Counselor, Lead Coordinator Competition

By Guam SBDC

As part of the University of Guam’s 60th Anniversary Celebration, the School of Business & Public Administration and the Guam SBDC sponsored the Next Generation of Entrepreneur’s Business Plan Competition for applicants between the ages of 18 through 30.  The event requiring the development of a viable business plan attracted a total of 26 individuals to include teams of five.
Contestants were required to complete a four-part series of small business training seminars facilitated by the business counselors of the Guam SBDC, giving up their precious Saturdays to do so.
They then began over three months of effort to research the Market, Target their Market and develop the narratives and financials for their Business Plan. Competitors were guided in their efforts with Senior Business Counselor Denise Mendiola-Hertslick, Business Counselor Fred Castillo and Business Counselor Frank Toves. The contestants met with their counselors in confidential and free counseling sessions to review and refine their ideas of starting a business and turn them into viable business startups via the business plan.

This is what two of the contestants had to say:

-Matthew Carpio
My experience with the SBDC business plan competition was as phenomenal as it was grueling. It was a lot of hard work, but with the help of the staff at the SBDC it made it very fun and enjoyable. Most importantly with the help of Mrs. Denise Hertslet  and in her absence (off-island training) with Mr. Frank Toves, I received an extraordinary amount of help, especially if I had any questions or doubts they both made themselves available even at times of inconvenience (as I would drop-in unannounced and sometimes even while they were in meetings) to assist me in any problems that needed to be addressed. In addition to their time, they also provided a very comfortable environment in which I was able to ask anything about my business plan, and expect genuine feedback and constructive criticism. One of the most standout attributes was whenever one of my ideas was over aspirational, Ms. Denise had the ability to bring me back down to earth, and help me find happy mediums without being discouraging. She would also point me in the right direction when it came to parts of the plan that needed research, and had access to a lot of helpful documents and reports that aided me tremendously with my plan. We had a lot of fun coming up with creative ideas and ways to implement plans with my lack of funds and resources, which resulted in creating better ones that worked beautifully with what I wanted to accomplish with this particular business and the business plan itself. I strongly suggest anyone who has a strong passion for operating a business to stop by the Small Business Development Center and utilize the resources that it provides. The staff is incredibly friendly, and excited to provide small businesses with the tools and information they need to build or maintain a successful business. I certainly could never have accomplished this task if it weren’t for the help of Mrs. Denise Hertslet, Mr. Frank Toves and the rest of Guam’s Small Business Development Center team.

- Alan Cepeda
I came into the competition with an idea and left the competition with tangible proof that my business idea can succeed. The competition, my advisor, and the workshops guided me through the process of making a business plan and got me to think more intimately about my business idea.
The most important component of the business plan competition that I appreciated the most was access to the knowledge from advisers at the Pacific Small Business Development Center. My advisor Mr. Frank Toves offered a new prospective on my business plan which enabled me to alter my idea to become more valuable and potentially more successful.
The competition was a great learning experience that helped me to understand the process of making a business plan and the importance of having one made. Even though building my business plan was a very time-consuming and arduous process, my diligence paid off when I finally got to see a concrete projection of my business.

Special thanks to our supporters who donated to the cash prize pool and in kind: SPPC 76 Circle K, GTA, Bank of Guam, Gyoza-Yatai Restaurant, Matson and Stations of KUAM. Special recognition and thanks to Mr. Carlos Camacho, local business owner who was so impressed with the competitors, donated cash prizes on the spot to our Honorable Mentions!
Five finalists were selected on August 31 and had through the end of September to prepare their presentation of their business plans in an audio and visual format.
The lecture hall was filled with family, friends, students and interested investors. The public in attendance took part in the judging adding their scores to the judge’s panel score sheets for the Guam 1st Annual “The Next Generation of Entrepreneurs Business Plan Competition!” The tension in the air was palatable as the public, judge’s panel and 5 finalists awaited the final tabulation.
The winning Business Plans ran the gamut from a refreshingly unique skateboard supply store, thinking out of the box recycling-marketing firm to a paradigm changing technology mortuary equipment & supply concept! Guam, be on the lookout as these businesses open their doors in the near future:

1st Place:          $4,000.00      MATTHEW CARPIO
2nd Place:         $2,000.00      ALAN CEPEDA
3rd Place:          $1,000.00      PAUL SABLAN
Honorable Mention -            PRETENCIANA TAITAGUE
Honorable Mention -            GRACE MAGILEITIL

The Guam Small Business Development Center at the University of Guam – School of Business & Public Administration is partially funded by a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). SBA's funding is not an endorsement of any products, opinions or services.  All SBA funded programs are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.