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Cutting Edge Woodcraft, The Food Store BCE business plan winners

Bluffton Center for Entrepreneurs has awarded over $60,000 in prize money since inception

Five businesses are winners in this year’s Bluffton Center for Entrepreneur’s Ropp Triplett Business Plan Competition.

Awards were presented March 21 in BCE open house in the Bluffton town hall. This is the 9th annual competition, according to Brendon Matthews, BCE board president.

Emerging business division winners

First place - Cutting Edge Woodcraft, Bluffton, owned by Nicholas Recker and Luke Keuneke, $4,000

Second place – Art Me!, Ottawa, owned by Kirstene Adkins, $1,000

Third place – SturdyBed LLC, Lima, owned by Barry McCullough, $500

Established Bluffton business division winners

First place – The Food Store, Jonah Agner and Nancy Corle, who plan to take over the business this spring, $1,000

Second place – The Sports Warehouse, Natalie Mueller, $500 in gift-in-kind support

With 12 contestants this was the largest-ever field in the annual BCE event. BCE has awarded over $60,000 in cash prize money since the competition inception.

Also competing:
Jessica Alger - Simply Celebrate
La Dell Allen, Jr. - 3DI
Kerry Bush - Elysian Fields Photography
Ron Headings - Woody's
Joy Moser - Inscribed Leatherworks
Anne Spence and Mary Seng, Findlay Wedding Chapel
Emily Ulrey - Avaiden Designs

Contestants attended a nine-week business plan class instructed by Kathy Keller, director, Small Business Development Center, Rhodes State College, Lima. At the conclusion of the class, each contestant made a presentation, first to judges in a dress rehearsal. The next week, contestants made presentations in a final round.


Contestants were judged on their business plan clarity, content, marketing plan, concept and product, plan for prize money, business operations and a cash flow projection.

Dress rehearsal judges were Dan Klear, Ottawa; Bill O’Connell, Ada; and from Bluffton Harvey Moritz, Paula Scott and Laura Voth.

Final round judges were Amanda Bennett, Ada Public Library; Deb Curlis, Community Health Professionals, Ada; Kevin Ernst, Ohio Northern University; Eddie Saunders, Comstore Outdoor Signs, Delphos; and Brad Wingfield, Kenton business owner.


Prize sponsors this year are: Bluffton University, First National Bank, Allen Economic Development Group, Citizens National Bank, Reichenbach and Steiner CPAs, Richard McGarrity, Sielschott, Walsh, Keifer and Regula CPAs, Mark Alliman of Edward Jones, Diamond Manufacturing and Bluffton Icon.