A Central Washington University student’s proposal to build a private school in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam won first place in last week’s business plan competition at SOURCE, the Symposium on University Research and Creative Expression. A plan to build a brewpub with an attached theater won second place, and a planned cafe and brewpub won third place.
SOURCE is an annual university wide forum where research, scholarship and creative projects of all disciplines are showcased. The business plan competition is sponsored by CWU’s Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (I4IE). A total of $10,000 from the Herbert B. Jones Foundation is awarded to the top three business plans.
CWU student Tyler Van Sickle won $5,000 for his idea to open The Trung Institute of English. Van Sickle said there is an increased demand for English-speaking workers in Vietnam. The Trung Institute will be a private school with certified teachers trained in the Pacific Northwest. The institute, Van Sickle says, will prepare students for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Vietnamese citizens must achieve a minimum level of English proficiency to earn a high school diploma. The initial investment for construction and operation is $300,000. Van Sickle expects high returns on tuition and uniform sales, and says once the first school is successful, the model will be duplicated throughout Vietnam.
Alex Dahlin won $3,000 for his Yeah Buddy Brewpub and Theater planned for downtown Ellensburg. With beers such as a Cascadian dark ale named Mel’s Hole and a simple menu of pizza and salads, the brewpub plans to offer a fun and entertaining atmosphere. Estimated startup costs are $453,000. Dahlin hopes profit for the first year of business to be $168,600.
Ryan Brookart won $2,000 for his Wildcat Café and Brewpub planned on the CWU campus. He envisions a place where students of CWU’s craft beer program can apply what they are learning in the classroom. Live entertainment and events also will be on tap during late-night hours.
Members of the I4IE advisory group, the Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce, and a regional entrepreneur served as judges for the business plan competition. The judges are Roy Savoian, director of the I4IE; Vince Bryan, a retired neurosurgeon and owner of the Cave B Estate Winery in Quincy; David Greenslade, technology commercialization manager for the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland; Kathleen Horner, owner of Horner Strategic Planning and Marketing in Roslyn and former president of StockPot, Inc.(Campbell Soup Company); Woody Howse, co-founder and president of Cable & Howse Ventures in Seattle; Gary Jones, an Ellensburg banking professional; Marc Kirkpatrick, principal of Encompass Engineering & Surveying of Issaquah and Cle Elum; Liz Marchi, coordinator of Frontier Angel Fund, LLC of Montana; Eric Miller, president of Wineries Express, LLC of Selah; and Denny Weston, senior managing director of Fluke Venture Partners in Kirkland.
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