KANKAKEE, IL – March 24, 2015 – A total of 18 aspiring and expanding small business owners have entered the 2015 edition of Kankakee County’s EnterpriseU Entrepreneurs Boot Camp & Business Plan Competition. Contestants who entered by close of registration March 20 include:
• Paul loiselle, Agriflyte, unmanned aerial systems for precision agriculture
• DeAndria Wells, Aquarius Minds, women’s clothing boutique
• Jesus Ramirez, Carpe Diem Sales & Repairs, construction
• Christian Finefield, Chrios LLC, mobile applications for Android, iOS and the web
• Kelly Rehborg, Eleven Fifty Eight Design LLC, environmental space planning
• Michael Neumann, Fit Body U, personal fitness
• Jim Dewey, Flying Squirrel Aerofilm & Photography, drone UAV aerial photography
• Karri Schroeder, Four Flowers Bakery, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free bakery
• Janet Bond, Hazel’s Coffee & Confection Co., retailer of custom blend coffees, loose leaf teas and pastries
• Maureen Lee, Lee’s Rental, party and construction equipment rental
• Terrell Boyd, New Rise Entertainment, youth music production studio
• Jeff Weber, OAK Athletic Development, personal athletic performance training
• David Demro, Paleostone, primal food truck
• Bruce Porter, Polaris Entertainment Ensemble, dance studio
• Sandra Steinberg, Sandra’s Sew and So, alteration service
• MarQuita Edwards, Sneak A Peek Productions LLC , video and still digital photography service
• Nicole Weakley, Spice Done Right, custom blended spice retailer
• Tomika Talley-Smith, TCB Grocery Delivery Service, grocery shopping and delivery service
Contestants underwent an orientation on March 23 at Kankakee Community College’s North Extension conducted by Small Business Development Center Coordinator Ken Crite and Economic Alliance of Kankakee County Director of Marketing and Business Attraction Lisa Wogan.
“I’m thrilled with the enthusiasm and turnout this year for EnterpriseU,” noted Crite. “We’ve got a solid class of small business startups and stage one business owners who are committed to building plans that will help their ventures succeed and grow.”
EnterpriseU, now in its fourth year, has helped to launch a number of recognizable local startups, including Crème of the Crop Catering & Food Truck, BC Systems Wastewater Treatment, Geek Speak, Arseneau Media, Carlile Architects, The Pie Ladye, Align Yoga & Healing Arts, and Your Party Studio. Contestants each year vie for three prize packages that include startup capital, 6 months rent-free office space, and a suite of business and professional services.
Core activities of the program are business plan mentoring, a small business coursework series crafted by KCC’s Small Business Development Center, networking events with local entrepreneurs and business leaders, along with a formal business plan competition and prize package eligibility. EnterpriseU is open to startups, existing businesses seeking expansion into new product/service markets, and new businesses open for less than 1 year. Contestants are not limited by geography, but winners must agree to site their businesses within Kankakee County.
EnterpriseU 2015 participants will submit business plans for judging by May 22. The 2-month program concludes with final oral presentations and the announcement of winners on June 11.
EnterpriseU 2015 program sponsors include the Economic Alliance of Kankakee County, Kankakee Community College, the Community Foundation of Kankakee River Valley, Kankakee County Chamber of Commerce, Kankakee Development Corp., The Daily Journal, Catalyst Innovation Center, Buck Tamblyn Property Management, Momentum Momence, Geoffery Johns and Associates, LinkPoint Media, Premium Specialties, Wayba Productions, Ravenspring Creative, Midland States Bank and Geek Speak.
The Economic Alliance of Kankakee County is a public-private partnership that works to create jobs and expand the economic base by improving the local business climate. Working under Kankakee County’s 2014-19 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, the Alliance is challenged to help spur $500 million in new business investment and 500 new jobs, along with assisting 150 prospective new businesses. For more information, visit kankakeecountyed.org or phone 815.935.1177.