WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) -The Idea WF contest is a yearlong competition that supports Wichita Falls entrepreneurs as they develop and grow businesses.
This next couple of weeks, the finalists are preparing for the final task of the contest: an investor-ready presentation with 15 minutes to pitch their business and 15 minutes to answer questions.
The Small Business Development Center, Lalani Center and Midwestern State University partner each year for Idea WF contest. The SBDC provides service and assistance to business owners and potential entrepreneurs.
Horseshoe Bend Cellars Vineyards & Winery is a family-owned fully operational vineyard and winery in Iowa park that holds tours and events.
R.W. Long Inc. is expanding their lawn care business with a new product called S.O.S., a backflow device tool.
“It would benefit me because of the advertising and the outreach that I would be able to get to the other states. These are in every state and they are in other countries, not just in the United States,” owner of R.W. Long Inc., Richard long, said.
Beth Tate, co-owner of Wichita Valley Pet Cremation, sees the benefits of participating in Idea WF for her year-old business, too.
"I think that every pet owner that that's always what we're dreading one day they are going to go and that day is just so difficult what do we do next and so we can take it from there," Tate said.
CrashWorks STEAM Studio & Makerspace was once a dream for busy mom Shauna LaRocque.
“The hard work that has put into it things I didn’t think I could do while being a mom and owning a business and everything that comes with life in general. It has really taught me of what I am capable of,” said LaRocque.
Board and Brush Creative Studio is a D.I.Y. wood painting studio.
“Whenever we open it, it was about a year difference, and it was not an easy year we had a lot of kickbacks. Therefore a moment we felt like we were never going to open it was negative, negative, negative but we pushed through, and we knew the outcome was going to be the best positive that we had ever seen, so we kept going with our dream,” said Casey Hrncirik, Board and Brush Creative Studio owner.
Endunamoo is a strength and condition sports performance facility that focuses on young people. The business is the outcome of owner Drew’s Hill refusal to give up on his dreams when he hit some snags.
Hill said they “took a risk found out the business was harder than coaching, but I was good enough at coaching that I was kind of able to get myself through the hurdles and humps and here we are today."
All the owners agree that just being in this competition is a win.
“It could help me become better at business and that’s something that I’m always telling the kids to work on. Weakness: this is me working on my weakness," said Hill.
LaRocque said “Even if we hadn’t made it this far I think that the feedback, you can’t put a value on it."
“Being in the competition has made us realize the stats of everything the materials the income and what we do need to work and to give us an extra set of eyes to be a perspective on our business," said Hrncirik.
Scott said “When we start evaluating the semifinalist to determining whose going to be a finalist we are looking for companies that will add jobs e actually require, that they commit to being located in Wichita Falls, Archer, Clay, or Wichita County for at least three years of their operation. It’s about growing jobs and adding jobs to the local economy."
“With Idea WF we believe that is going to allow us to reach more of the community and bring us in and definitely help us out with other local businesses,” said Hrncirik.
The prizes include advertising, marketing services, and cash.
“Having that money and the credibility of the community and you have the SBDC back you these business owner/ judges see the values and say I think you’re doing something great,” said LaRocque.
The winner will be announced on October 2nd at Dillard College. It is free to attend with RSVP.