Hormel business plan competition organizers have high hopes this year

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Not all the winners of the young Hormel Family Foundation's business plan competition have been successful, but the rate certainly exceeds business start-ups in general.

The foundation is able to point with pride to the Game On Games store, which already outgrew its downtown location at moved to the Westview Plaza. Catering not just to the video game crowd, Game On brings board game and card game enthusiasts together for regular tournaments, as well as supplying the needs of comics collectors, role playing games, miniatures, disc golf and other leisure activities.

Does another entrepreneur out there have an idea that's just as good?

The Hormel folks hope so.

"We have very high expectations for this year's competition," said project initiator and Hormel Family Foundation board member Ben Hormel Harris.

"In today's challenging economic climate, it is more important than ever to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship, because ultimately, that is what will carry us forward," he added.

Appropriately enough, the competition will take place June 12 at the Hormel Business and Technology Center on the McCook Community College campus -- itself more evidence of the generosity of the late McCook businessman Ben Hormel and his family.

And it's not just start-ups who are eligible. Both new and existing businesses hoping to expand are equally welcome to submit their business plans -- but they must do so by the May 27 deadline.

At the June 12 competition, a panel of local business and community leaders will identify the plan most likely to succeed in the McCook region, and the submission will be eligible for up to a $25,000 minority stake investment from the Hormel Family Foundation, as well as $10,000 worth of consulting and advertising services.

This year, the Hormel Foundation is cooperating with Invest Nebraska Corp., a state-wide non-profit organization dedicated to "angel" investment and entrepreneurship in Nebraska, the type of investment the Hormel Family Foundation is making through its business plan competition.

The Hormel Business Plan Competition also receives generous support from Community Hospital and McCook Community Development Co., comprised of AmFirst Bank, McCook National Bank and Wells Fargo.

The Hormel Family Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to McCook Community College in McCook.

Founded in 1999 by the late Ben F. Hormel, it provided the funding for the Ben F. Hormel Technology Center for Business and Industry on the McCook Community College campus. All potential proceeds from the foundation's stake in the winning business are exclusively for the benefit of McCook Community College.

Have you always yearned to own your own business, and do you have a good idea in mind? Or, do you have a plan to expand or diversify your business and need capital, guidance and promotion to make it happen? Perhaps the Hormel Business Plan Competition is just what you need.

For more information, visit www.investmccook.com, or contact Susan Harris-Broomfield at (308) 340-0856.

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  • It would be great to see another success story like Game On come about through the Hormel competition. As a mostly-regular customer, I'm extremely pleased to see how far they've come in 1 1/2 years. It'd be nice if New Life or the Book End could get the money and grow, too.

    Of course, it is a shame that Heather's Sweets isn't around anymore. That was a nice store, even if they didn't have much to work with. Maybe Country Floral could win and use the money to make their own candies for various events. Nothing says rustic romance like flowers and "home-made" chocolate.

    -- Posted by bjo on Thu, Mar 26, 2009, at 4:52 PM
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