Venture Works selects business contest plan winners

 Huntington, Ind.—Today, Venture Works announced the winners in the inaugural Huntington County Business Plan Competition with prizes totaling more than $10,000.

Joel Holloway of Roanoke, Ind., co-founder and operations manager of Innovation Mapping, won the $5,000 first place prize. Innovation Mapping provides a comprehensive infrastructure asset knowledge management system in the form of GIS software and related services. Innovation Mapping has developed a process and products that enhance projects from utility mapping and inventory programs to facility management and marketing data needs.

Ryan Imel (center) is the second place and student award winner of the inaugural Huntington County Business Plan Competition. He receives his award from Lora Bulla and Remound Wright.
Ryan Imel, a Huntington University sophomore Bible and religion major from Roanoke, Ind., earned both the $500 student award and $3,000 second place overall prize. His business, Aspiring Indie, seeks to become a full-service marketing/communication company by adding photography and audio recording to the services offered in the coming years. Aspiring Indie believes everyone has the right to quality, affordable, effective communication. The company offers a number of communication solutions in the interest of providing services to businesses, organizations and individuals in Northeast Indiana.

Jim Almeda (center) is the third place and student award winner of the inaugural Huntington County Business Plan Competition. He receives his award from Lora Bulla and Remound Wright.
Jim Almeda of Wabash, Ind., founder of Cellu-Redi, took home the $2,000 third place award. Cellu-Redi’s mission is to provide an opportunity for all homeowners to have an affordable choice in the home automation industry. Cellu-Redi offers control to homes or businesses using an ordinary cell phone.

Finalists made a 30-minute presentation about their business plans to a panel of local judges and answered questions today at Huntington University.

(left to right) Jim Almeda, Ryan Imel and Joel Holloway
Judges included Darlene Stanley of Johnson’s Junction, Rick DeLaney of DeLaney, Hartburg & Roth, Tom Mills of First Federal Bank, John Mignone of Mignone Communications, Kevin Quickery of United REMC, Carol Pugh of Huntington County United Economic Development, Kay Schwob of Huntington University, Perry Collins of Roanoke Town Council, Dennis Massengill who retired from Wells Fargo Bank and Jon Knecht who retired from Transwheel Manufacturing.

(left to right) Lora Bulla, Jim Almeda, Ryan Imel, Joel Holloway and Kay Schwob, director of the Enterprise Resource Center
Entries for the competition were judged on (1) originality of idea, (2) prospect for growth, (3) probability of success, (4) use of technical workforce and (5) clarity of business presentation.

Rules of the competition required interested participants to be Huntington County residents or students attending a college or university within the county.

Other finalists included the following:

Northeast Indiana Driving Academy—Gary Town of Huntington, Ind., a 1988 Huntington University graduate with a Bachelor of Science in elementary education

Northeast Indiana Driving Academy exists to train students to be safe and courteous drivers. NEIDA will provide driver safety programs, drivers’ education programs, as well as driving lessons.

Shoe Skinz—Anne Powers of Huntington, Ind., a freelance artist.

Shoeskinz protects shoes from the elements, along with protecting the floors in houses, cars, or gyms, and keeps feet warmer than wet, dirty sneakers do.

Spot O’Tee—Bethany McGraw, a sophomore applied exercise science major from Perrysburg, Ohio

Spot O’ Tee exists to provide Huntington County with quality golf facilities to ensure fun, safe, and quality family entertainment for all ages and skill level. Spot O’ Tee would provide a miniature golf, driving range, and café to the community to help counteract the movement out of the county.

All six finalists will receive one hour of accounting consultation from Dan Boyle of Culp and Co. Accounting Firm, one hour of financial consultation from Tom Mills of Federal Savings Bank, one hour of consultation with attorney Rick DeLaney of DeLaney, Hartburg & Roth and five hours of consultation with the Northeast Indiana Innovation Center.

Sponsors of the business plan competition included Bippus State Bank, the Daughtery Companies, Inc.; the Huntington County Chamber of Commerce, the Huntington County Commissioners, IMCO, Johnson Junction, Lake City Bank, MACSTEEL, MarkleBank, Mignone Communications Inc., National City, Pathfinder Services, Inc.; Our Sunday Visitor, United REMC, Wabash Technologies and Wells Fargo.

Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S.News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest. Founded in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington University is located on a contemporary, lakeside campus in northeast Indiana. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).


Heather Barkley
Director of Communications
Joanne Green
Sports Information Director