Yakima County Development Association - Enterprise Corner

Jean Brown

Jean Brown

Jean publishes a blog called the Enterprise Corner.  It features articles on entrepreneurship, local industry trends, manufacturing news and periodic ‘toolbox’ articles showcasing assistance, incentives and other resources for local businesses.

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Enterprise Corner

Winners of the 2015 Enterprise Challenge Announced!

Winners of the 2015 Enterprise Challenge Announced! - January 22, 2016

The Yakima County Development Association and the Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce announced today that three emerging businesses were selected as winners of the association's sixth annual business plan contest. These entrepreneurs were selected by six judges that met with business plan contestants yesterday. Yakima Hop Candy won New Vision's Enterprise Challenge and will receive $10,000. Yakima Hop Candy is the proud creator of LollyHops. This boutique pop is infused with locally grown ... Read More »


Enterprise Challenge Finalists Announced

Enterprise Challenge Finalists Announced - January 04, 2016

The Yakima County Development Association and Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce are pleased to announce that eight emerging businesses are advancing to the final round of the Enterprise Challenge business plan contest. These top finalists were chosen from 26 community members who served as judges in the competitions Entrepreneur Trade Show held in December. This is the last phase of the contest. These finalists will now present their business plans to our final round of judges who will ... Read More »


Top 16 Head to the Entrepreneur Trade Show

Top 16 Head to the Entrepreneur Trade Show - December 03, 2015

Our annual business plan competition, the Enterprise Challenge, is heating up! We have just completed first round judging and sixteen contestants are now off to the races prepping for our "pitch your business" Entrepreneur Trade Show. I have been getting to know the contestants and have been very impressed with their hard work and efforts thus far. There's a very broad mix of entrepreneurs, experience levels and businesses, which is adding a lot to the competition. This year many of the ... Read More »


Enterprise Challenge Attracts Stellar Entrepreneurs

Enterprise Challenge Attracts Stellar Entrepreneurs - October 15, 2015

The sixth year of the Enterprise Challenge has attracted 26 of the brightest entrepreneurs from Kittitas and Yakima Counties. We are excited to host the annual business plan contest this year with our partners from Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce. Over the last 5 years the Challenge has seen over 100 entrepreneurs compete and today nearly 40 of those past contestants have started a business in Yakima and Kittitas Counties. This week contestants went through the first set of workshops ... Read More »


Meet our Challenge Workshop Instructors

Meet our Challenge Workshop Instructors - September 18, 2015

This year we are happy to announce that we have a top notch group of instructors lined up for our Enterprise Challenge contestant classes. Linda Johnson, Nicole Donegan, Shane Pierone and Eric Puryear will be in charge of our seminars this year and we think these sessions will be better than ever before. Our contest starts in the classroom as we want to help everyone in the business plan contest learn what it takes to launch and manage a successful business. Our instructors cover marketing, ... Read More »


Judges Are the MVP's of the Enterprise Challenge

Judges Are the MVP's of the Enterprise Challenge - September 01, 2015

The most valuable aspect of the Enterprise Challenge each year is the feedback contestants get from our judges. There are three points during the contest when judges evaluate participating entrepreneurs. Judges use our contest scoring criteria and ultimately determine who wins the Challenge. More importantly though they provide invaluable feedback to the contestants. Recently, I visited with a couple of past judges to learn what they think of the completion and to see if they had any tips to... Read More »


Business Plan Contest Kicks Off The 6th Year

Business Plan Contest Kicks Off The 6th Year - August 10, 2015

New Vision, the region's economic development association, announced today that the annual business plan contest, the Enterprise Challenge will kick off its 6 th year in October. "We are very pleased to continue the partnership with the Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce to offer more resources to small business throughout our region", said New Vision's Business Development Director Jean Brown. The contest timelines and process will generally stay the same. Contestants will first take classes ... Read More »


Student Entrepreneurs Step Up to the  Challenge

Student Entrepreneurs Step Up to the Challenge - February 13, 2015

CWU's Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship is delighted to host the first high school student business plan competition called the Entrepreneur's Challenge . The competition kicked off in November at the Capital Theater where hundreds of students gathered to hear the journey of several local entrepreneurs and learn more about the contest. The chance to "win big" got their attention when $8000 will be awarded to the top individuals or teams. Twenty eight students from seven different ... Read More »


Clothing Shop Claims Enterprise Challenge Title

Clothing Shop Claims Enterprise Challenge Title - January 23, 2015

The Yakima County Development Association and the Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce recently announced that three emerging businesses were selected as winners of the association's fifth annual business plan contest. These entrepreneurs were selected by seven judges that met with business plan contestants in late January. Claim Clothing won New Vision's Enterprise Challenge and will receive $10,000. Claim Clothing is a new business that started last spring in downtown Ellensburg. Claim ... Read More »


Eight Entrepreneurs Advance in Enterprise Challenge Bizplan Contest

Eight Entrepreneurs Advance in Enterprise Challenge Bizplan Contest - December 12, 2014

The Yakima County Development Association and Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce are pleased to announce that eight emerging businesses are advancing to the final round of the Enterprise Challenge business plan contest. These entrepreneurs were selected by a group of 22 judges that met with and evaluated business plan contestants at an afternoon trade show recently. Based on their scores and evaluations, the judges ultimately picked the following companies to move on in our contest: Pride ... Read More »


Three Reasons to Polish Your Business Plan

Three Reasons to Polish Your Business Plan - October 03, 2014

It is no secret that we encourage entrepreneurs to develop a business plan prior to starting a business. In fact, part of the reason we started the Enterprise Challeng e Business Plan Contest was to identify and reward Yakima County's best and brightest new businesses and entrepreneurs. One of the most valuable things entrepreneurs can do is to use their business plan as a working document and it review often. The real value isn't in the actual completed plan, but in the process of gathering ... Read More »


HOW to WIN the ENTERPRISE CHALLENGE

HOW to WIN the ENTERPRISE CHALLENGE - September 03, 2014

I recently checked in with previous winners of our bizplan contest to see how they are doing and get their input regarding what it took to make it to the winners circle. It was interesting that our winners shared a lot of common advice: Get a jumpstart by starting on your plan before the contest starts. Almost every winner said having a full plan or even a start gave them the ability to refine rather than create. Our winners were able to learn from classroom instructors and improve their ... Read More »


Fifth Annual Enterprise Challenge to Include Kittitas County Entrepreneurs

Fifth Annual Enterprise Challenge to Include Kittitas County Entrepreneurs - August 03, 2014

We are pleased to announce today that New Vision will invite Kittitas County entrepreneurs to compete in its annual business plan contest, the Enterprise Challenge . "We are very pleased to partner with the Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce to expand our contest and offer more resources to small business", said New Vision's Dave McFadden. "It's exciting to work on a bigger better contest with a group that is also deeply committed to entrepreneurship." The contest timelines and process will ... Read More »


Throwing Out Your First Pitch

Throwing Out Your First Pitch - July 17, 2014

Can you sum up your business in two minutes or less? Do you have an 'elevator pitch' prepared for that opportune moment when you can (hopefully) captivate a potential investor's attention? Anyone can have a pitch, but developing a good pitch takes practice. The next new thing is to have a video pitch - in addition to YouTube, here are just a few ideas out there for entrepreneurs to post their video pitch: Virgin Airlines has just launched PitchTV . Upload your two-minute video pitch - the ... Read More »


What Does It Take To Be An  Entrepreneur?

What Does It Take To Be An Entrepreneur? - June 06, 2014

What does it take to not only start and manage a business, but also to make it a resounding success? That is a question asked by many people who set out with business plans in hand. One thing that distinguishes the successful entrepreneur from others is that the "level of commitment and willingness to buck convention often outweigh other factors in determining whether a business ultimately succeeds or fails." Naysayers who predict failure actually fuel the business owner's desire to succeed. ... Read More »


Spring Harvest Fiber Mill Wins Enterprise Challenge

Spring Harvest Fiber Mill Wins Enterprise Challenge - January 22, 2014

New Vision, the Yakima County Development Association, announced that three emerging businesses were selected as winners of the Enterprise Challenge business plan contest. These entrepreneurs were selected by seven judges that met with business plan contestants yesterday. Spring Harvest Fiber Mill won New Vision's Enterprise Challenge and will receive $10,000. The company produces yarns and fiber products made from Alpacas. Bob and Danise Cathel are alpaca farmers and avid fiber artists. ... Read More »


Enterprise Challenge:  Everyone's a Winner

Enterprise Challenge: Everyone's a Winner - January 14, 2014

What do you get when you combine 20+ entrepreneurs, business seminars, and a competition for thousands of dollars? It's the Enterprise Challenge, a local business plan contest reaching its conclusion next week. We sponsor this four-month high energy contest to promote entrepreneurship in our Valley. Contestants come in all shapes and sizes and we design the Challenge so everyone participating benefits. Tyrone Rodriguez with Selah's Smiles won the contest last year and was awarded the top ... Read More »


Eight Finalists Announced in Enterprise Challenge

Eight Finalists Announced in Enterprise Challenge - November 02, 2012

New Vision, the Yakima County Development Association is pleased to announce that eight emerging businesses are advancing to the final round of the Enterprise Challenge business plan contest. These entrepreneurs were selected by a group of 25 judges that met with and evaluated business plan contestants at an afternoon trade show yesterday. Based on their scores and evaluations, the judges ultimately picked the following companies to move on in our contest: Bastinelli's Best produces gourmet ... Read More »


Washington Vision Therapy Center Wins Enterprise Challenge

Washington Vision Therapy Center Wins Enterprise Challenge - December 09, 2011

We are pleased to announce that three emerging businesses were selected as winners of our second annual business plan contest. These entrepreneurs were selected by seven judges that met with business plan contestants yesterday. Washington Vision Therapy Center won New Vision's Enterprise Challenge and received a check for $10,000. The specialized eye clinic is located in Yakima. Dr. Ben Winters is a developmental optometrist who specializes in providing vision therapy to clients with a ... Read More »


Eight Advance to Finals in Enterprise Challenge

Eight Advance to Finals in Enterprise Challenge - November 09, 2011

We are excited to announce that eight emerging businesses are advancing to the final round of the Enterprise Challenge business plan contest. These entrepreneurs were selected by a group judges that met with and evaluated business plan contestants at an afternoon trade show last week.The contestants went all out on their booths, and their business plan summaries. One judge commented, "The quality of the business plans were so much better than last year, and the contestants seemed to be much ... Read More »


Enterprise Challenge Contestants advance to 'Sweet 16'

Enterprise Challenge Contestants advance to 'Sweet 16' - October 24, 2011

The Enterprise Challenge is right in the heat of the competition! We have just completed the opening round and are into the 'Sweet 16'. There are now 16 entrepreneurs vying for the cash prizes in our business plan contest. I have been getting to know the contestants and have been very impressed with their hard work and effort thus far. There's a very broad mix of entrepreneurs, experience levels and businesses, which is adding a lot to the competition. Some of the entrepreneurs have started... Read More »


Tieton Farm & Creamery Wins Enterprise Challenge

Tieton Farm & Creamery Wins Enterprise Challenge - December 14, 2010

Our organization is excited to announce that three emerging businesses were selected as winners of the association's inaugural business plan contest. These entrepreneurs were selected by seven judges that reviewed plans and heard pitches from our final contestants. Tieton Farm Creamery won New Vision's Enterprise Challenge and received a check for $10,000. The farm and c reamery is on a 21-acre farm located in Tieton. Tieton Farm Creamery combines responsible farming methods and artisanal... Read More »



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"There's tremendous untapped potential in Yakima; there's also tremendous room for expansion - you're not constrained with respect to land. " - Robert Wallace, CEO, Wallace Properties