Published on June 2nd, 2015 | by TLV News0
Winners of the AdvoCare Entrepreneur Challenge Announced
Janet McCarty of Cotton’s Cafe wins Final Round of the AdvoCare Entrepreneur Challenge
The Oxford-Lafayette County Economic Development Foundation today announced that Janet McCarty of Cotton’s Cafe has won 1st place in the AdvoCare Entrepreneur Challenge. The Final Pitch Night, held at the University of Mississippi School of Business, featured five local entrepreneurs who pitched their business ideas to a judging panel of successful North Mississippi business owners. The AdvoCare Entrepreneur Challenge is a business plan/pitch competition sponsored by AdvoCare and the Oxford-Lafayette County Economic Development Foundation (EDF). This rigorous competition was designed to encourage and inspire entrepreneurs in North Mississippi to develop business plan submissions from ideas into reality.
Beginning October 1, 2014, eight teams attended an orientation session where they committed to the 9 month competition. In an effort to guide them toward local business resources they met with experienced entrepreneurial coaches, advisors, and mentors who were provided through the competition or sought out by the teams. In addition to the individual coaching sessions, each competitor attended monthly “Challenge Nights” where they learned about subjects including organization structure, proprietary information protection, and business plan development. During many of these meetings, the teams were able to practice two minute “elevator pitches” and 5 minute financial/investment presentations and received feedback from their peers. These sessions prepared the competitors for three Pitch Nights (elimination rounds) where they were required to showcase their business plans to a panel of North Mississippi business leaders. While the benefits from the competition include professional business advice at no cost, the teams competed for cash prizes including $10,000 for 1st, $5,000 for 2nd, and $2,500 for 3rd.
Oxford-Lafayette County Economic Development Foundation President/CEO Jon Maynard along with AdvoCare CEO Richard Wright founded the idea during a conversation in Texas mid-March of 2014 on ways to launch an entrepreneur-recognition program that could help diversify the business base and keep Oxford talent in town. After many meetings with the Entrepreneurial Alliance, an EDF sponsored businesses retention and expansion team focused on responding to local business needs, the framework of the AdvoCare Entrepreneur Challenge was completed. “Through this competition we hope to create an ecosystem for entrepreneurs,” said Maynard. “We want to grow our businesses from within, and grow Oxford without changing the small town culture of which we are known.”
Thursday, May 21, 2015 marked the third and final “Pitch Night” of the competition. The remaining five teams were judged on three criteria including how well they utilized the resources of the competition, the quality of their written business plan, and the effectiveness of their business pitch before a panel of entrepreneurial judges. Following the pitches, the scores for each section were compiled and the cash prize winners were announced. Wayne and Mary Margaret Andrews walked away with the $5,000 second place prize for their arts networking and consulting business, Arts Advantage, while Terri Massey of Bliss Handcrafted Ice Cream won the $2,500 third place prize. Michael Satterfield of Satterfield Pottery and Katherine and Margaret King of Yall Twins? rounded out the final five contestants.
For more information on this event contact Allen Kurr (662)234-4651, firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Oxford-Lafayette County Economic Development Foundation: The mission of the Oxford-Lafayette County Economic Development Foundation (EDF) is to be a leader in creating opportunities for responsible economic investment, thereby raising the per capita income for all citizens of Lafayette County. In support of this the EDF is committed to being responsive to local business and industry, being a responsible vehicle to preserve a positive business environment in the area, facilitating technology transfer at the University of Mississippi into the community, and by supporting other positive community efforts which improve the quality of life and yield economic benefits. For more information on the EDF, visit www.oxfordms.com or call 662-234-4651.
About AdvoCare International, LP: For more than 20 years, AdvoCare has offered general nutrition, weight loss, energy and sports performance products of the highest quality developed through comprehensive research and backed by a Scientific & Medical Advisory Board. AdvoCare now offers more than 70 exclusive products and a business opportunity that empowers individuals to explore their ultimate potential. AdvoCare was founded in 1993 and is headquartered in Plano, Texas. For more information on AdvoCare, visit www.advocare.com or call 800-542-4800.